4 more Celtic players given pre-derby international rest tonight

By David Walton

March 29, 2022

Celtic have been given a huge boost tonight with Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor, Carl Starfelt, and Matt O’Riley all on the bench for their respective countries tonight.

McGregor and Taylor both featured for Scotland against Poland on Thursday night. However, Steve Clarke has kept them sidelined after making some big changes for tonight’s trip to Austria.

O’Riley, meanwhile, has joined up with Denmark U21s for their first international camp. But he’ll also start on the bench in a huge qualifying match against Belgium.

Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images

Finally, Starfelt is also on the bench for Sweden in their crucial World Cup qualifier against Poland tonight. It was the same in Thursday night’s extra-time win over the Czech Republic.

It remains to be seen how many minutes all 4 individuals get ahead of their respective returns to Lennoxtown. Given Scotland are taking part in a friendly, it’s very likely we still see the Celtic boys in that camp get minutes this evening.

As for O’Riley, it’s up in the air as to how close he is to Jesper Sorensen’s starting XI. As much as he’ll be itching to make an impact, Celtic fans would likely rather he stays on the bench this evening. Starfelt, meanwhile, is likely to only come on if injuries occur.

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Internationals all going to plan for Celtic so far

So far, it’s been as good an international break as we could’ve hoped for. Yes, Stephen Welsh came off with a knock for the Scotland U21s. Hopefully that isn’t too serious, but if we’re being honest, he wouldn’t have started at Ibrox regardless.

All 4 players on the bench tonight are almost certain to start in Govan for Sunday’s Glasgow derby. Given the game is only 5 days away, any game-time tonight will hopefully be minimal.

The truth is that having none of them starting is already a major boost. Even if they came on for the final half hours of their respective matches, there’s not much chance of any grave danger there. Had they started, it would’ve been a different story.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

It’s been a positive week for Celtic in truth. Nir Bitton has already returned from Israel duty whilst Josip Juranovic seems to have gotten through Croatia’s schedule without a knock. The same goes for Reo Hatate and Japan.

Liel Abada did play 90 minutes for Israel U21s this afternoon against Germany. However, he also looks to have come through unscathed thankfully.

Now, we sit and hope the night goes through without incident. So far so good.

In other news, Johan Mjallby the latest to be left stunned by Ange’s Celtic work