Celtic duo set to clash in tasty U21 international fixture next week

By David Walton

May 30, 2022

Celtic duo Matt O’Riley and Stephen Welsh are set to square off in what could be a crucial under-21 European qualifying match between Denmark and Scotland next week.

O’Riley made his debut for the Danish under-21s back in March when he was given a 20-minute outing in their 1-1 draw with Belgium. Welsh, meanwhile, has been a regular for the under-21s during the qualifying campaign and has recently been made captain.

However, both men are currently having contrasting fortunes when it comes to the league table. Denmark currently sit second, 3 points ahead of Turkey having played a game more. They look a sure-fire cert for the playoffs ahead of their games against Kazakhstan and Scotland respectively.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Scotland, meanwhile, look all but out of the running. They’ll need to beat both Belgium and Denmark away from home whilst hoping Kazakhstan also beat the Danes. Unlikely to say the least.

O’Riley and Welsh will come face-to-face on June 10th in what will be the second of their two respective international fixtures.

Should Denmark beat Kazakhstan, their playoff spot will be secure before they even face the young Scots.

Matt O’Riley and Stephen Welsh – will both start final group match?

There’s no reason to believe that O’Riley won’t be involved in some capacity. It’s clear how highly valued he is by the Danes, who managed to lure him away from representing England.

Should Matt make an appearance, it’ll be another huge occasion for him. Another opportunity for the Celtic midfielder to showcase his skillset and become a more important figure for his country ahead of next year’s European Championships.

Welsh, of course, has become a stalwart for Scot Gemmill and will likely be given the full 90 minutes against both Belgium and Denmark unless injury strikes. International fixtures have given Celtic supporters more of an opportunity to see Stephen in action this season given his limited game-time at Parkhead.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

There’s always something that extra bit fascinating when it comes to seeing two Celtic players coming up against each other. Especially if they have individual duels with each other too. Hopefully, we get to see both on the pitch for a substantial period.

O’Riley has been a huge fans-favourite at Celtic Park since his January arrival from MK Dons. Welsh, meanwhile, won the club’s academy player of the year award last season as he continued his own development.

Good luck to both ahead of what will no doubt be an important week to the pair of them.

In other news, Swedish Report: Celtic showing interest in 34-cap Kenyan defender Erick Otieno