Croatia boss could be about to give Celtic a class Josip Juranovic boost

By David Walton

March 27, 2022

Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has announced to his nation’s media that he’s considering resting Josip Juranovic for their second friendly match this week.

Juranovic played 90 minutes for the Croats against Slovenia on Saturday. The Celtic man played on the right side of a midfield 5 in a tiring wing-back role. Next up for them is clash against Bulgaria on Tuesday night.

Celtic, of course, have a massive Glasgow derby at Ibrox a week today. Victory there could all but secure the title, and the prospect of another tiring 90 for Josip could have an effect on his energy levels.

Photo by STU FORSTER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

However, Ange Postecoglou could be in for a big boost. As quoted by Croatian outlet, Dalic is considering a change in Josip’s position this week and even has a replacement in mind:

“The stoppers will be Škorić, Vida and Ćaleta-Car, on the left side Barišić, on the right maybe Juranović, although it will be his second game then. Moro, Pašalić and Majer will be in the midfield, and Vlašić and Livaja will be in the attack.

“We are only in a little doubt when it comes to the right flank. I will not tell you who we are thinking about because you will be making a drama about it. The goal is to try this team and, of course, win the game.”

The clear message coming out of the Celtic camp is one we can all get behind | 67HH LIVE

The clear message coming out of the Celtic camp is one we can all get behind | 67HH LIVE
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Will Josip Juranovic be the next player to get a full week to prepare for Ibrox?

Earlier this afternoon, we told you that Israeli media was reporting that Nir Bitton had been allowed to leave the camp and return to Celtic. This was said to be part of the original plan, with Nir being allowed to miss the game against Romania.

Juranovic, however, could be the next player to be given a full week to prepare for Ibrox. If he’s on the bench or perhaps out of the squad entirely, that would be a major plus for Ange.

Not that we like seeing players dropped for their country. But Juranovic’s position isn’t in any doubt. Dalic is a clear fan of his and would almost certainly be starting him if it was a competitive match they were playing on Tuesday night.

Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

But if it’s a friendly contest, we would much rather have our players sitting out if necessary. Especially with such a massive domestic game just around the corner.

We’ll see what decision Dalic comes to. But let’s be honest, he wouldn’t be throwing this out there if he wasn’t going to give the player he mentioned an opportunity. And there’s no better time for that to happen than on Tuesday night.

Fingers crossed that’s exactly what the Croatia manager does after teasing it to his own country’s media outlets.

In other news, Israeli Report: Positive news for Celtic as Nir Bitton released from Israel squad