Ange Postecoglou could throw a Celtic curveball on Saturday in Giorgos Giakoumakis

By David Walton

October 14, 2021

The international break is all but over as we await the return of Celtic this Saturday, and with a bit of luck, there’s a curveball available to throw for Ange Postecoglou at Fir Park.

Celtic will take the short trip to North Lanarkshire to face Motherwell in a tricky-looking Premiership encounter. 3 points could see the Hoops move up to 3rd in the table too.

The international break couldn’t have gone much better either. There have been no injury complaints that we’re aware of. Several of our talented stars were rested over the last week too. But even so, not everything is perfect.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Kyogo Furuhashi, our number 1 striker by some distance, has just come back from a tiring spell with the Japanese national team. Sure, he only played around an hour against Saudi Arabia and Australia. But the travelling involved has been substantial.

You would expect Tom Rogic to sit out the starting line-up for Saturday’s game due to undergoing the same thing with Australia. Kyogo could easily be similar given the miles he’s clocked up over the last week.

And that could lead to a first Celtic start for Giorgos Giakoumakis. The Greek striker has had an “invaluable” period of time with Ange Postecoglou at Lennoxtown over the last fortnight or so [Scottish Sun].

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Giorgos Giakoumakis – the Celtic curveball option for Saturday

Some will argue that it’s unlikely. That Giakoumakis hasn’t started one game since arriving on transfer deadline day. Therefore, why would he be given a role out of nowhere in such an important game at Fir Park?

But the question we should be asking is why shouldn’t he? This is a striker who should now be fully up to speed. A player who was already on the Celtic bench even before the international break. A player that actually featured against Bayer Leverkusen a couple of weeks ago.

In addition to that, Ange hasn’t been afraid to mix things up out of nowhere in the past. Remember Boli Bolingoli being thrown in out of the blue against Livingston? Stephen Welsh coming back in for a game and then losing his spot again? What about Nir Bitton regaining his place in the Celtic team at Pittodrie?

Photo by Geert van Erven/BSR Agency/Getty Images

If Kyogo needs a rest, will Ange really turn to Albian Ajeti again? He had his chance over the course of September and he failed to take it. It’s been proven just how poor an attacking force we are when the Swiss striker is on the pitch. So if Giakoumakis is available and fit to go, as he should be, then it’s only right to chuck him in against Motherwell.

Granted, it could all be dependent on how Kyogo is feeling. If the Japanese forward is feeling good to go even after his tiring international camp, then fair enough. But chances are he’ could do without playing another hour or 90 minutes so soon.

No guarantees of course, but don’t be surprised if Postecoglou throws a surprise decision into the mix at Fir Park. And if it proves to be a Giakoumakis start, it will certainly excite the Celtic supporters.

In other news, Why Liam Burt had to leave Rangers for Celtic in 2019

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