Boost for Celtic as captain Callum McGregor sits out Faroe Islands clash

By Euan Davidson

October 12, 2021

Celtic captain Callum McGregor has been left out of Scotland’s starting XI to meet the Faroe Islands tonight.

McGregor, something of a shock call-up by Steve Clarke, ended up playing against Aberdeen and Bayer Leverkusen, after returning from an injury. He featured in the Tartan Army’s last-gasp 3-2 win over Israel [BBC], but will get a rest from Clarke.

McGregor, like Kyogo and others, was seen as something of a risk to let go, from Celtic’s perspective. Having just overcome injuries, anxieties about the Celtic captain and star striker getting through the international break were entirely justified.

However, Clarke has gone for a midfield of John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Scott McTominay and Ryan Christie to battle the Faroe Islands.

McGregor is joined on the bench by midfielders Lewis Ferguson, Kenny McLean, Stuart Armstrong and current Celtic team-mate David Turnbull.

Unless McGregor has to come on, which seems unlikely, there’ll be huge sighs of relief across the Celtic support. Having already watched through fingers as Rogic and Kyogo squared off, any additional tension for the Hoops faithful was certainly not needed.

Instead, in what ought to be a routine win for Scotland, Celtic fans can relax. Former Bhoys Ryan Christie, Jack Hendry and Kieran Tierney will all feature from the start, though.

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Huge relief for Celtic fans as Callum McGregor left out for Scotland

Well, this is a boost.

Callum McGregor is seldom injured, despite playing a remarkable number of games. Across multiple competitions for Celtic, the captain is stretched pretty thin.

Add international duty to that, and it’s an exertion for any player. So, as good as it is seeing McGregor play for Scotland, it’s something of a comfort that he’s being given a rest.

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Let the Steve Clarke-Celtic conspiracy theories launch in earnest, of course.

Scotland can secure 2nd spot in Group F with wins over Faroe Islands and Moldova [BBC]. Of course, it’s Scotland, so anything is possible. Yet, it would be a huge shock if Clarke’s men can’t overcome the minnows from the North Atlantic.

If they can do so without using McGregor, it’s all the sweeter.

Read more: Celtic defender Liam Scales left out of squad for Ireland friendly; fans left perplexed