At the start of his Friday press conference ahead of Celtic’s game against Rangers, Neil Lennon had some intriguing injury news. He confirmed that Jonny Hayes had returned to training after a recent injury.

“Jonny’ll rejoin training today as well, Jonny Hayes” he said, as quoted by the Celtic YouTube channel.

Hayes’ return, after missing Celtic’s last two league games, means that the Hoops have three left-backs fit going into the derby – Hayes, Boli Bolingoli and Greg Taylor.

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We can probably forget about Taylor starting. He has rarely featured for the club since joining from Kilmarnock on deadline day of the last transfer window.

A choice between two players

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

That means it will most likely come down to a choice between Bolingoli and Hayes, as to who gets the nod to start Celtic’s last game of the decade.


Neil Lennon will be having a long think before deciding on which player will start the game.

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Interestingly, both players have started the two previous Glasgow derbies this season. Bolingoli played in the 2-0 win at Ibrox in September, with Hayes playing in the 1-0 Betfred Cup Final victory.

Excellent in notable derby win

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Bolingoli was injured and missed the cup final, perhaps he would have played if he had been fit. If Celtic are aiming to play in a more attacking style, then perhaps Bolingoli will get the call to start. He was excellent in a more defensive performance in the win at Ibrox, but he enjoys getting forward, as he showed in the recent 2-1 win over St Mirren. He was unfortunate not to score his first Celtic goal in that game.

However, Hayes got the nod to start over Bolingoli in the 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle earlier this month. That might be an indication that Neil Lennon wants to play Hayes in what could be considered Celtic’s ‘harder’ league fixtures.

Whatever decision Neil Lennon comes to, he will be confident in either Hayes or Bolingoli’s ability to have a good game. Hopefully the Celtic manager makes the right decision.

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