Ange delivers hopeful Rogic return date; fresh Celtic injury to be investigated

By Euan Davidson

November 24, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has given an update on three injured Bhoys players ahead of tomorrow night’s match against Bayer Leverkusen.

Via Jo Hendry of Go Radio, the Celtic manager gave a timeline for Tom Rogic and spoke of his options going into the crucial Europa League clash.

The Hoops will be without Rogic, Carl Starfelt and Giorgos Giakoumakis again. Rogic is “close” to returning to action, but will likely be left until the weekend.

Starfelt, meanwhile, still has work to do, while Giakoumakis and his knee problem require further examination from the medical team at Celtic Park.

There are, however, no new injury concerns going into the game against the German side. Celtic would be in an excellent position to qualify from Europa League Group G with a draw, and a win against Real Betis in the last game.

However, that won’t be easy. Bayer Leverkusen overcame the Bhoys 4-0 at Celtic Park. Somewhat insultingly, rumoured Celtic summer target Piero Hincapié got off the mark for Leverkusen that night.

Stephen Welsh has deputised in the absence of Carl Starfelt, who had been forming an effective partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers in defence. Nir Bitton has come in for Tom Rogic, allowing Callum McGregor to influence the game further up.

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Encouraging news from Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, but Giakoumakis knee problem is worrying

So, nothing entirely new on the injury front. There had been hopes that Rogic and Starfelt would’ve been ready by the end of international break. Alas, not so much.

Giakoumakis is a concern, though. Last year’s Eredivisie top scorer has only made a brief impression for the Hoops thus far. He scored against St Johnstone, but missed a penalty against Livingston, before a decent display off the bench against Ferencvaros.

Celtic don’t have too many striking options, and the possibility of losing Giakomakis long-term is concerning.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Postecoglou will surely be looking at strikers in the upcoming window. Albian Ajeti hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive, and Daizen Maeda has been linked heavily to a move.

Tomorrow night would undoubtedly have been less daunting with Rogic, Starfelt and Giakoumakis available. The latter as a back-up option, the former as pretty much guaranteed starters.

No such luck for Ange Postecoglou.

Read more: SPFL boss under pressure ahead of Celtic Park encounter

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