Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Christopher Jullien’s hamstring knock has cleared up.
The French centre-back had to come off against Kilmarnock on Saturday with a slight concern. The defender himself then confirmed on social media post-match that he was fine. However, there had been nothing from Lennon post-match about any medical report on him.
Celtic have a host of key games coming up over the next few weeks, with tomorrow’s Betfred Cup quarter-final clash against Partick Thistle being followed by a trip to Easter Road and then a home clash with Cluj in the Europa League.
However, Lennon himself spoke to the Scottish Sun today and confirmed that the centre-back is good to go.
“Christopher Jullien is fine. But obviously we have to take a steer on games coming up as well.”
Lennon hinting at a no-show for Jullien tomorrow?
Just because he’s fit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Jullien will play tomorrow. Lennon has stated flat out here that he wants to rest players with big games coming up. Given some of the knocks Jullien has had recently, it makes sense to leave him out.
With Moritz Bauer also likely to be out, Celtic could be seriously depleted at the back. The only solution if Lenny is to play with a back four could be to push Hatem Abd Elhamed beside Kristoffer Ajer and give a debut to Jeremie Frimpong.
It’s surely unlikely that Neil decides to play Jullien. Especially not after his comment about the steering on games coming up.
An alternative is to switch to a back three. However, we don’t have three natural centre-backs available. It all really depends on how much of a threat Lennon truly views Partick as being.
Playing Jonny Hayes or Boli at right-back in an attempt to switch things is risky. Neither are used to the other side of the pitch, so that would seem a little far-fetched.
It will make for intriguing reading tomorrow when the team comes out. With Greg Taylor also cup-tied, we could be missing a total of four first-team defenders for tomorrow, with one needing a rest in Jullien. Five potentially out could mean that Lenny has to seriously shuffle the pack.