Celtic manager Neil Lennon has namedropped five players who he stated have played “a lot of football”.
The Hoops boss has been talking up squad rotation for the next couple of weeks, starting with tomorrow at home to Partick Thistle. The match reads as Celtic’s best chance to make a number of small changes to the starting XI.
Plenty in Celtic’s best starting XI have been to the well consistently this season. It’s only September and Celtic have, in total, played 16 games so far this season. They’ve only lost one of them, showing just how impressive Lenny’s new-look side has been this term.
But as he spoke to the Scottish Sun ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with Thistle, Lenny hinted at five players who could be rested for tomorrow.
“For the likes of (James) Forrest, (Scott) Brown, (Callum) McGregor, (Ryan) Christie, (Boli) Bolingoli, they have all been playing a lot of football.
“We would like to play them in every game but it’s not realistic, and there are players champing at the bit to play as well, so we need to try and find the right balance.”
Don’t expect all of them to drop out
Lennon won’t want to go over the top. He’s quite right to talk about finding the right balance, and that could mean just a couple of the players mentioned drop out tomorrow.
Celtic do have the depth in their squad to make mass changes. However, so often in the past in football has that kind of attitude disrupted the flow of a side. The momentum this Celtic side is generating is fantastic, and it would be silly to halt it too much.
Perhaps the players most likely to sit out are Boli Bolingoli and Callum McGregor respectively. With Jonny Hayes and Olivier Ntcham waiting in the wings, that would hardly disrupt much.
Scott Brown didn’t make the squad in the last round against Dunfermline Athletic. That could signal that Lenny sees this competition as a chance to rest our captain in the early rounds.
But McGregor needs a bit of a break. He’s played the same amount of games as Broony, but he’s also had a double-header with Scotland to contend with earlier on this month.
James Forrest was the match-winner against Dunfermline last month. That could be enough to keep him in the side, whilst Tom Rogic could do with more game-time in order to give Christie a break too.
Nobody knows for sure how Lenny will tackle tomorrow. But there is no denying that changes will be made.