Neil Lennon confirms Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli will play vs AIK

By John McGinley

August 22, 2019

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Christopher Jullien and Boli Bolingoli will start tonight’s match at home to AIK, The Scottish Sun report.

The Hoops face the reigning Swedish champions for the opportunity to play in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Lennon took a lot of flak for his team selection against Cluj and will now opt to utilise his big defensive summer signings. They had to settle for a place on the bench for the Champions League disaster.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Celtic boss has also moved to defend both of the players’ slow starts at the club.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “They haven’t hit the ground running yet, but we’ve got hopes they will come good.

“We have to be patient. Other people aren’t patient.

“We have to work with them — they will play against AIK, and hopefully it will be a step in the right direction for them to show what they are really all about.”

Is Lennon taking a risk?

It’s certain that both will be under pressure to perform.

Bolingoli needs to start the fixture despite Lennon’s admittance he is lacking confidence right now. There are no other solid options at left-back and the Callum McGregor experiment failed last week.

He may not be looking like the best option right now. However, as Lennon says there will be a hope he can come good.

(Photo by REMY GABALDA/AFP/Getty Images)

The selection of Jullien may raise more eyebrows considering his shaky performance against Dunfermline. The Frenchman was unconvincing in that one. It became apparent why he hasn’t been utilised much this summer.

While it’s too early to write him off too, perhaps going with a tried and trusted partnership at the back would be the order of the day against AIK.

This is a huge fixture in the context of our season. There is little room for players not quite ready to play for Celtic.

Ultimately Lennon is probably right to turn to the pair considering the criticism he got for not playing either against Cluj. We can’t buy upwards of £10m on two players in a transfer window and not trust them to compete.

Hopefully both defenders can begin to shake off their doubters with big performances.