Before Celtic gave St Johnstone a doing at Parkhead yesterday, there were fans on social media asking one big question.
After seeing the team line-up, there wasn’t a lot to argue with. The big-hitters were playing, and Brendan Rodgers appeared to pick the right team given the result on the day.
But it didn’t stop supporters from asking before the game about a particular striker that never made the bench. This is despite the fact he was seconds away from coming on in the last match against Hibernian.
Bayo was ready to come on during the week against Hibs. Only he couldn’t due to Emilio getting injured. Therefore, I don’t understand how he isn’t on the team sheet at all today. Strange one. Unless he’s injured of course.
— CelticLisboa (@CelticLisboaa) February 10, 2019
I'm surprised Bayo isn't even on the bench https://t.co/4WwLYmSpRW
— IGCeltic (@IGCeltic) February 10, 2019
Bayo no registered for cup?
— Muiry (@MuiryCeltic) February 10, 2019
Europa League took priority yesterday
Ironically, yesterday’s team is likely to have been picked with the Europa League in mind. Brendan Rodgers has a track record of doing this before European games.
Given that Bayo was omitted from the Europa League squad to face Valencia, it’s not too surprising he didn’t feature in any capacity.
Supporters would’ve expected him to have been given some time from the bench. This is due to the fact he was set to make his debut against Hibernian before Emilio Izaguirre’s injury stopped that.
But Rodgers appears to have put out a team yesterday that will start against Valencia. The players who were all on the bench are also all in contention to be part of the match-day squad.
The only change Rodgers may make is if Izaguirre returns before Thursday night. Dropping Jonny Hayes may seem harsh after a good performance against St Johnstone. Izzy, however, has more experience in big games, and it’s certainly not worth taking a risk.
But it would hardly be surprising if Bayo was back in the squad at Kilmarnock on Sunday. If not then, then most likely the Motherwell game at Celtic Park on February 24th.
Rodgers has in the past claimed that there’s no room for sentiment in his squad. Bayo’s omission yesterday is full proof that there isn’t any right enough.
And who can argue after yesterday’s performance?