Brendan Rodgers has cleared up the situation regarding Kieran Tierney’s availability for tomorrow night against Valencia.
Unfortunately, the Celtic manager has stated that the first-choice left-back won’t be available for selection. This is despite the fact he was reportedly desperate to be back for tomorrow night’s clash.
Celtic’s official Twitter account confirmed the news, which is a blow to the Celtic supporters.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 13, 2019
Many will have been hoping that Tierney would’ve been fit for the Valencia clash at Parkhead. But, the positive news to come out of this is that he’s close to a return.
It’s not been confirmed by Rodgers as to whether Tierney could return as soon as Sunday against Kilmarnock. But with regards to his participation against the La Liga giants, we can now rule it out.
Izzy is the silver lining
Fortunately, however, in the same tweet by the Hoops Twitter account, Rodgers confirmed the availability of Emilio Izaguirre.
This is the first we’ve heard about the Honduran since he missed the squad to face St Johnstone. Jonny Hayes took part in the 5-0 rout on Saturday, and he would’ve therefore been the likely choice had both Tierney and Izzy been out.
Izaguirre, however, has played all six matches since returning from the winter break. He’s struck up a fine relationship with fellow left-sider Scott Sinclair. The duo will be tasked in finding a route past the makeshift Valencia defence.
Jozo Simunovic’s availability is also a boost after he came off against St Johnstone last weekend. Simunovic was apparently suffering from illness, but he’s ready to come back.
That gives Rodgers some options at centre-back all of a sudden. With Dedryck Boyata and Kristoffer Ajer also available, some depth is finally starting to show.
Ajer returned and looked comfortable against St Johnstone. But with Sumonivic starting the last two games, it’s up in the air as to who he sees at the heart of his defence.
There’s no denying, however, that the story of the afternoon is Tierney being unavailable. It’s a mini-blow for supporters.
But given KT hasn’t played in two months, his match-fitness would’ve been questionable.