James Forrest is a doubt for the clash against Rangers on October 17 after Neil Lennon said he would struggle to make next month’s Scotland games.
Steve Clarke’s Scotland side are due to face Israel and Slovakia on October 8th and 11th respectively. Immediately after those matches, Rangers will arrive at Celtic Park for the first Glasgow derby of the season.
Should Forrest fail to feature for his national team, it could be the case that he misses out the derby. Forrest would go into the Rangers match having not played in over three weeks.
Lennon has been speaking about the Forrest situation to the media, as he awaits the results of a crucial scan.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Lennon said: “We’re waiting on a scan. He’s got bone bruising on his ankle which can be very sore, tender and uncomfortable. He’s definitely out for Sunday (vs Hibs).
“Do I think he’ll struggle to make the Scotland games? Yes I do.”
Frimpong to get his long-awaited run?
As is always the case with a squad as big as Celtic’s, when one player’s availability is taken away a window of opportunity opens for another. That could be the case here for Jeremie Frimpong.
After a stunning solo performance in Riga where Frimpong managed to set up the winner and cause havoc with his pace throughout the second half, he won over the support once again. Many now want to see him in the starting line-up on a more consistent basis.
Make no mistake, if Forrest is fit enough to make the Rangers game, he’ll be in the team. Lennon has only benched the winger twice out of 10 games this season. Those were against Dundee United and Livingston respectively – hardly matches you would look at just now and feel they’ll be overly-difficult.
Frimpong, however, would be a capable replacement for the visit of Steven Gerrard’s side. He’ll still feel he has something to prove against them after being sent off in the Betfred Cup final against Rangers at Hampden last season.
Celtic of course went on to win the cup after Rangers missed a penalty, but Frimpong as an individual will be absolutely desperate to star in this fixture. Forrest’s injury will surely give him that massive opportunity.
Lennon will hopefully give us some proper closure on what’s happening with Forrest over the next few days. However, Frimpong’s big chance to get a run in the team will almost certainly kick-off against Hibs this afternoon. He needs to take it.