Celtic’s starting XI is just about perfect, but there’s one worrying sight for supporters.
The Hoops face St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup this afternoon. Another victory and it will be seven wins-in-a-row for what would then be becoming a rampant Celtic outfit.
Despite that, however, there’s one clear worry heading into today’s game, and it involves the left-back position.
📋 #ScottishCup team news is here!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 10, 2019
Emilio Izaguirre is nowhere to be seen in the first XI this afternoon. This comes after a shocking challenge from Hibernian’s Darnell Johnson in Wednesday’s 2-0 success over the Hibees at Parkhead.
Brendan Rodgers would later state that he believed Izaguirre “got away with one”. But it doesn’t look as if he’s recovered in time for the third game against Saints in four games. That is unless this is all simply precautionary.
In Izzy’s place is the much-maligned Jonny Hayes. The former Aberdeen left-winger was linked with a loan move back to his former club in January. But after that failed to materialise, he’s been given another big shot this afternoon.
Heavy favourites today regardless of Izzy injury
Celtic remain heavy favourites for today’s clash. But Izaguirre’s injury could now have supporters panicking about Valencia. Hayes hasn’t shown anywhere near enough in green and white to suggest he can cope on Thursday night.
There is still some small hope that Kieran Tierney could possibly be available for the Europa League clash, but he also isn’t in the squad today. There isn’t a replacement left-back available in the senior set-up outside of Tierney and Izzy.
Hopefully, Rodgers provides supporters with an update either before or after today’s match.
Elsewhere, Scott Bain keeps his place in goal looking to keep an incredible 12th consecutive clean sheet. Oliver Burke keeps his place as the lone striker after netting vs Hibs.
Most importantly, however, is the return of James Forrest.
The Celtic winger went off holding his hamstring against St Johnstone last Sunday in Perth. Fortunately, it looks like it was nothing major and he is indeed ready to get firing again.
But the left-back situation continues to overshadow everything. Here’s hoping there’s some positive news at some stage today.