Hibernian list three key players as "doubts" ahead of crucial Celtic Premiership clash

By Euan Davidson

February 23, 2022

Hibernian could be without three key players for the visit of Celtic at the weekend.

After the Hoops face Bodo/Glimt, Easter Road awaits to finish off a frantic month of football for Celtic. It’s a venue where Celtic have typically struggled, although a 3-1 win earlier in the season has hopefully sparked a new trend of success for the Hoops in Leith.

For Shaun Maloney’s side, there are potentially three key players set to miss out. Hibernian’s own website lists Paul Hanlon, Paul McGinn and Joe Newell as “doubts” for Sunday [HFC].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Combined, the trio have played 4,814 minutes of football for Hibs in the Scottish Premiership this season [WhoScored?]. If all three were missing, it’d represent a huge loss of experience for Maloney in the dugout. Meanwhile, Demetri Mitchell, Harry Clarke and Kyle Magennis all have longer-term injury problems, and will definitely miss out when Ange Postecoglou’s side come to Easter Road.

Hibs have had a patchy start to 2022. In their last 6 games, they’ve lost 3 and drawn 1. However, two recent wins, against Arbroath in the Scottish Cup, and at home to Ross County, have surely inspired some confidence.

As for Celtic, it’s been uninterrupted domestic bliss since the calendars changed at the start of 2022. But with a trip to Norway to recover from, and a more inspired Hibernian side to face, Ange and co will take nothing for granted.

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It’s another tricky away trip on Sunday as Hibernian host Celtic

Regardless of Hibernian’s injury woes, this is a tie that is never worth overlooking or underestimating.

Especially with a hungry coach and very familiar face in Shaun Maloney prowling the Hibs touchline. If he can secure a third consecutive win, against his former club no less, the atmosphere around Easter Road would be significantly improved.

Having lost a key player in Martin Boyle, Maloney has looked to strengthen his Hibs side, and to decent effect. Ewan Henderson will be ineligible to play, but Chris Mueller and impressive loanee Rocky Bushiri could play a big part.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The last time Hibernian met the Hoops, it would’ve been a tricky one had it not been for a debut goal from Daizen Maeda and a Josip Juranovic penalty. Reo Hatate was also superb on his debut, but Maloney’s side dominated possession in the second half, and looked good value to push on from that game.

The potential absences of Hanlon, Newell and McGinn make things more difficult for Maloney’s side, granted. However, Hibs will be no pushovers.

Another solid away win would boost an already confident Hoops side as we get into the business end of the 21-22 season.

Read more: Callum McGregor explains what Celtic stars discussed after last week’s Euro disappointment