Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate has stated that his side will be facing a Celtic XI in a friendly tomorrow.
The Hoops have recently had their development squad play in matches against the likes of Chelsea and Huddersfield Town down in England. The game on Tuesday, however, will be a closed-door event.
Celtic’s youngsters have been flying in recent weeks too. They’ve beaten Chelsea, Huddersfield, and Clyde whilst also taking a 1-1 draw from Rangers at the Hummel Training Centre last week.
And Woodgate seems to have shed some light on a potential new assignment for our youngsters. Speaking to Hartlepool Mail, the Championship manager said the following when asked about George Friend and Ryan Shotton:
“They will play another 90 minutes against Celtic on Tuesday. That will be some under-23s and some first-team players.”
Will Lennon throw some of our own squad players into the game?
The friendly hasn’t been announced elsewhere, therefore it’s unclear where the venue of the game will take place. However, considering we’ve been to England twice in recent times, that could point to another trip south.
The match will also come a day before Celtic’s first team face Hearts. Therefore it clearly isn’t some sort of tune-up game for the senior side. They have enough on their plate over the next month.
But what will be intriguing is whether Lennon decides to throw in some of the outcasts or squad players. The likes of Marian Shved, Daniel Arzani, and even Ismaila Soro are players who could do with some minutes.
In saying that, Lennon hasn’t sent any senior players down with the development side recently. So it looks most likely to be another chance for the youngsters to strut their stuff.
It will also give them a big opportunity to come up against some Premier League experienced veterans. Woodgate has already confirmed the likes of Friend and Shotton will feature. With more of Middlesbrough’s senior players set to play, this could be our reserves’ biggest challenge yet.
Hopefully they come through it with flying colours. They’re certainly in positive form regardless.