One of the major talking points regarding Celtic’s derby against Rangers on Saturday was the status of Odsonne Edouard.
The Hoops striker tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and since then he has been self-isolating in France. However, Neil Lennon confirmed earlier on Friday that the player is now back in Scotland.
Lennon did mention, as reported by the Scottish Sun, that the player was ‘tired and isolated’. He also disclosed that Edouard had not been able to train during his time in isolation.
Therefore, it would be a bit of a surprise if Edouard managed to start the game. Even though the player will be naturally fit, it can’t have been easy for him to spend so much time in isolation, emotionally.
Bonus that player has returned
Perhaps the best that Celtic fans can hope for is that Edouard is on the bench. That would be a bonus in all honesty after the last week. Also, the player has form in coming off the bench and bullying the Ibrox side. All we have to do is look back to the Betfred Cup Final in December.
Edouard went into that game on the way back from an injury, and was only fit enough for a place on the bench. After a poor first-half display, it was inevitable that Edouard would come on, and he duly replaced Lewis Morgan in the 59th minute.
It didn’t take long for him to make an impact. He panicked a Rangers player into conceding a free kick. From the free-kick, Chris Jullien put the Hoops into the lead.
Couldn’t deal with his skill
Only a few minutes later Edouard was at it again. He took the ball in his own half, held off a challenge, and his precise pass put Mikey Johnston clear on goal. Johnston missed the chance, but Rangers’ defence just couldn’t cope. Edouard bullied them, they didn’t have a clue how to deal with his guile and composure.
He was also excellent at keeping the ball as the 10 men of Celtic held on for a famous 1-0 win.
Obviously we would all much rather that Edouard started the game. However, if he has to come off the bench, he is more than capable of beating Rangers. He has done it before, and could do it again.