Celtic to miss McGregor and Abada for Betis Europa League bout

By Euan Davidson

September 15, 2021

Celtic are to be without Callum McGregor and Liel Abada tomorrow night for the Bhoys’ Europa League clash with Real Betis.

Alison Conroy, Radio Clyde’s Sport Editor, reported the two key misses from Ange Postecoglou’s pre-match press conference today. Anthony Ralston will be in contention, but both are considerable blows for the Hoops.

Against a stern test in Betis, losing our captain to a knock is a particularly tough one to take.

Liel Abada, meanwhile, will miss the game for religious reasons. It’s Yom Kippur, a Jewish festival and the holiest day in the Calendar. Refraining from work is a key tenet of the celebration.

With Christopher Jullien, Kyogo, Greg Taylor and James Forrest all missing, Celtic will be taking a thin squad with them to Seville. The latter two’s absence was confirmed by Go Radio’s Jo Hendry. Giorgos Giakoumakis is still a while away from making his debut.

The front three will be full of interesting calls, with few valid options on the right of attack.

It will be interesting to see, therefore, whether Celtic will utilise any of the players from the Europa League B List [UEFA]. The list includes the likes of Owen Moffat and Ewan Henderson.

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Certainly, missing McGregor is the key thing here. The definition of an ever-present, it’s hard to see who can act as a realistic like-for-like swap.

Ismaila Soro or James McCarthy could be relied upon here, but neither are fully tuned into the Ange-ball style quite yet.

Meanwhile, Abada has flown out the gate to become one of our best players. From being something of a mystery when he signed, he’s scored 4 and set up 4 in 10 Celtic outings [Transfermarkt].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Scary times indeed. If Postecoglou had hoped to break a long-standing hoodoo for Celtic in Spain, tomorrow night might not be the opportunity.

Stranger things have happened. Heroes have been made against Spanish clubs, not least David Marshall, or Fraser Forster. If someone from the fringes of the Celtic squad can make their mark in a similar fashion, then it’d be ideal timing.

In other news: Javier Sanchez Broto identifies Hector Bellerin as a threat to Celtic

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