Marian Shved’s domestic debut should be the clash against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.
So far, we’ve only managed a short glance at the Ukrainian talent this season. He came on for the closing stages against Nomme Kalju, and managed to rattle home a fine strike in Estonia. Picking up a loose ball, he took a touch before firing high into the net to give Celtic a cool 2-0 lead last week.
Unfortunately, suspension then halted him from receiving his domestic debut against St Johnstone on Saturday. Several days later, he was on the bench against Cluj but didn’t manage to get on the pitch.
Many are keen to see what Shved has to offer, but Neil Lennon has also been right to hold him back at the moment. Given James Forrest is Celtic’s reigning Player of the Year, and the fact he scored the crucial away goal in Romania last night, Lennon is right not to throw Shved in during the big games right away.
He has to prove he deserves a chance in those kinds of fixtures. And the only way to do that is to impress when he does get on the pitch, which is exactly why Saturday represents a fine chance for him.
Marian Shved’s domestic debut would excite supporters
Forrest should be well-rested for the visit of Cluj at Parkhead on Tuesday. We don’t need to risk Jimmy from the start, especially considering the physicality of this Motherwell team at times.
Meanwhile, Shved will be raring to go given he hasn’t played since that cameo in Estonia. He has the quality to really turn Motherwell inside out, and it seems logical to give him that chance.
Sure, it’s a big game. Forrest tends to start those and quite right. But Tuesday night’s one is even bigger. We have to blow Cluj away at Celtic Park, and Forrest will play a monumental part in us trying to do so.
Shved is the natural alternative for when Forrest misses out. However, he also simply needs to get chances somewhere. Every game will be huge for the next few months. So long as Rangers are near us in the table, every game is big. Forrest can’t start every single one of them.
So Lenny has to do both Forrest and Shved a favour and play the former Karpaty Lviv man. He’s earned his chance with his goal in Kalju. Now, let’s see what he can do against our domestic competition.
Hopefully he gets his chance, but Lenny doesn’t always go for the obvious.