Confirmed Celtic XI vs SC Pinkafeld

By Hamish Carton

June 26, 2019

Neil Lennon has named his first starting line-up of the season and it’s an interesting selection. The Northern Irishman has opted for a really youthful looking side for the friendly against Austrian minnows SC Pinkafeld.

There are a number of youngsters preparing to make their Celtic debuts and one star man making a return at long last.

Leigh Griffiths is back

The Celtic forward will make his return to first-team action after more than six months on the sidelines. The Scotland striker last played for the Hoops in the 5-1 demolition of Kilmarnock in December. He has since missed Celtic’s last 31 matches due to personal issues.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But Pinkafeld will signal a new era for Griffiths, and you wouldn’t back against the 28-year-old finding the net.

The youngsters

The likes of Stephen Welsh, Armstrong Oko-Flex and Barry Coffey will be given the opportunity to show what they can do in the Austrian sunshine. The trio have impressed for Celtic’s development side in recent months and will be keen to continue their development in front of Neil Lennon.

Conor Hazard and Calvin Miller are two other youngsters who will be looking to show that they’ve improved after recent loan spells.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Average age

Celtic’s starting line-up works out at an average age of 23. That’s pretty remarkable considering it includes a couple of players over the age of 30 in Scott Sinclair and Jonny Hayes. Neil Lennon will find out a fair bit about his youthful side in the 90 minutes against Pinkafeld.

Confirmed team: Hazard, Ralston, Simunovic, Welsh, Hayes, Coffey, Christie, Oko-Flex, Miller, Sinclair, Griffiths