Dedryck Boyata has handed Celtic a major defensive boost ahead of next week’s derby against Rangers.
The Belgian defender came through 90 minutes of his country’s win over Russia.
Boyata had missed Celtic’s win over Dundee with injury.
However his return for Belgium will be music to the ears of Celtic fans ahead of next week’s clash against Rangers.
Having Boyata back for the Glasgow Derby would be an immense boost for Celtic. They have struggled to have a settled defence this season due to injury.
Boyata has been at the heart of everything good about Celtic’s defence this season. Despite his controversial no show against Athens in the summer, he’s been Celtic’s key man at the back.
The Belgian defender forged an impressive partnership with Filip Benkovic earlier in the season.
Then, after Benkovic’s injury, Boyata ensured the back line would not suffer. He alongside Kristoffer Ajer or Jozo Simunovic, was part of a Celtic defence that went on an impressive clean sheet run.
The Bhoys hadn’t conceded a domestic goal since the winter break until Motherwell’s controversial goal at Celtic Park.
Furthermore, the only other goal they conceded was a penalty against Hearts. Boyata has been instrumental in that run, and having him back for Rangers is a massive boost.
The defensive boost doesn’t just stop with Boyata. Benkovic’s return at Dundee bodes well for Celtic.
What a Boy
Next week, Neil Lennon must select his strongest side to defeat Rangers.
As harsh as it is for Ajer, that includes a defensive partnership of Boyata and Benkovic.
If both are fit, they must start at the heart of Celtic’s defence.
Celtic’s flair players can build on the platform founded by Boyata at the back.
His inclusion in the side is of paramount importance.