Celtic midfielder James McCarthy fit to face Bayer Leverkusen

By David Walton

September 29, 2021

Celtic midfielder James McCarthy has been deemed fit to face Bayer Leverkusen tomorrow night.

Republic of Ireland international McCarthy suffered a nasty-looking injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Dundee Utd. James came off at half-time after taking a bad challenge to the ankle from Jeando Fuchs.

It continued a ropey start to the midfielder’s Celtic career. McCarthy took plenty of stick after a 1-0 loss to Livingston earlier this month. It came after a report claimed he was struggling to get to grips with Ange Postecoglou’s training methods [The Athletic].

Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Thankfully, however, McCarthy will indeed be available for Thursday night as it doesn’t look he’s picked up a sustained injury from the Utd clash.

Speaking at his presser via Celtic TV today, Postecoglou said: “McCarthy’s okay. He’s got through his knock.”

McCarthy has slowly been integrated into the team in recent weeks. However, he’s still to produce a breakthrough performance after a struggling start to life in Glasgow.

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Celtic may need to call on James McCarthy for Bayer Leverkusen

Not many Celtic fans enjoyed the performance of McCarthy against Dundee Utd. Even before his injury, he was far too loose in possession and found himself giving the ball away consistently.

He needs that big breakthrough performance. The display that announces to the Celtic support that he’s able to handle anything that comes his way at Parkhead.

A game against Bayer Leverkusen could be exactly what he needs. Just because he’s in poor form doesn’t mean he’ll hold any fear going into Thursday night. Remember, we’re talking about a midfielder that has spent over a decade playing in the English Premier League.

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Coming up against Bayer’s star-men won’t faze him. In fact, it’s the kind of fixture that could even bring out the best in McCarthy.

We know he’s a talented player, and after signing a four-year contract, we know he’s here to stay too. Postecoglou has plenty of time to work with him, but we need to say some big improvements over the next few weeks.

Given our injury problems, he looks a cert to start against the Germans. Is this his time to shine? Fingers crossed – it may very well be.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant Giorgos Giakoumakis Celtic update

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