Celtic six in contention for Scotland minutes against Netherlands

By Euan Davidson

June 2, 2021

Some good news for Scotland fans of a Celtic mindset: nobody from the Bhoys’ Tartan Army contingent will miss tonight’s match against Holland.

Following earlier reports that John Fleck had a positive Covid test [Record], every other player has tested negative. Unfortunately, however, a number of players were still deemed to have been too close to Fleck around the time of his diagnosis. Those players are Nathan Patterson, Stephen O’Donnell, John McGinn, Che Adams, David Marshall and Grant Hanley [Glasgow Times].

It was already going to be a difficult match-up. Now without any natural right-backs, the Dutch national team will know what areas to exploit. However, from a Celtic perspective, it means any of Jack Hendry, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, James Forrest, Greg Taylor and David Turnbull could feature. For Turnbull, it’d be an international debut, and he could fill in for Aston Villa man John McGinn.

Taylor could be pushed on to the right, where he’s played a whopping 3 career games [Transfermarkt]. It’s maybe not the best fit. However, with Kieran Tierney increasingly trusted in central defence, he may well be chosen to start there again. Captain Andy Robertson will surely feature on the left of a back 5.

Celtic star David Turnbull / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

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So, obviously, this isn’t the news you want before a major tournament. Luckily, it’s only John Fleck who’s tested positive so far. If the rest of the squad are closely monitored throughout their training camp, it’ll surely be alright. But it is a worry.

As far as Celtic’s contingent are concerned though, it’s time to step up. After a bruising campaign for Celtic, for players and supporters alike, strong international showings would offer a glimmer of hope. In Hendry’s case, there’s been no confirmation of his supposed sale to Oostende, so he’s still technically a Celtic player by name and contract only.

David Turnbull’s Scotland debut is an exciting prospect. If you’re feeling cynical about Scotland, it’s worth watching for that alone. Seeing someone who’s been one of few positives for us impressing against some of the world’s best would be a fine sight.

This could also be a good opportunity for Callum McGregor to show his mettle. Especially, that is, ahead of what should be his first season captaining the Bhoys. Without the leadership of John McGinn, CalMac could have an important role. Any sort of positive result against Holland would represent fantastic progress, not just for McGregor, but the team as a whole.

We’ll be watching.

READ MORE: Celtic must ask major questions of gloating rivals next season


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