Leigh Griffiths vs Sarajevo is the way to go for Neil Lennon on Wednesday night.
It’s more or less a weekly debate at this point. Griff or Odsonne Edouard? The man who’s looked so ruthless in pre-season, or the man who led the line so well in our eight-in-a-row run last season? It’s undeniable that the shirt is French Eddy’s to lose – finishing last season as top scorer gives him that advantage.
But in terms of Wednesday night, Lennon has everything to gain by giving Griffiths his first competitive run-out of the season.
The Celtic number nine has looked in better shape than he’s ever been this pre-season. Six goals in four games shows just how in-form he is. His four-goal show against St Gallen under-21s may be dismissed for the quality of opposition, but he still stuck his chances away.
Griffiths led the line to face Rennes yesterday. That would perhaps hint that Lenny may be thinking of giving Edouard a run-out on Wednesday night. But Griff was in good shape once again against the Ligue 1 side.
He was at it from the off, willing to run the channels as the lone striker and combine with the attacking midfielders. He was causing the Rennes defence plenty of problems in the first half. Some better service and you would’ve banked on him getting his SEVENTH goal of pre-season alone.
Griffiths vs Sarajevo = first competitive goal?
But the pre-season tag must also be getting to Griff. He’ll be itching to get his first competitive goal of the season. For his confidence alone, it would do him a world of good.
Big Eddy doesn’t have much to prove anymore at this point. The former PSG youngster is already off the mark for the campaign with his goal in Sarajevo last week. The tie is over, and therefore we could be doing with resting those who don’t need to play.
Griff, however, looks absolutely itching to get back out and score meaningful goals for Celtic once again. If there were question marks about his fitness, those must be close to being removed too. He’s proven he can play well over an hour of football, and Sarajevo at Celtic Park represents the perfect chance to get him off the mark competitively this season.
Sarajevo need to win the match 3-0 in order to qualify ahead of the Hoops. That’s just not happening, and thus Lenny has the chance to be flexible with his team again.
The next step for Griff is competitive action. We’re out of friendlies at this stage, and now it’s time to get him integrated into things properly once again. When better to do that than against the Bosnians at home?