Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that the Hoops trio of Odsonne Edouard, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Boli Bolingoli will not feature for the Hoops against Hamilton on Wednesday night.
The news was revealed by Lennon at his pre-match press conference, as reported by STV sports reporter Raman Bhardwaj on Twitter. The players did return to training, but none will feature in the game.
No news on if trio will make cup final
Bhardwaj also disclosed that Lennon did not reveal if any of the three would be available for the Betfred Cup Final against Rangers on Sunday, and that Edouard’s injury may not be a long-term one.
Neil Lennon says none of the three players (below) will be available for Hamilton tomo. Lennon “pretty confident” Edouard injury is short term. Wouldn’t say if he’d be fit for Cup Final. https://t.co/rAOZpHC7IK
— Raman Bhardwaj (@STVRaman) December 3, 2019
It is sensible management by Lennon not to risk any of the trio for the game. The Hoops have a big enough squad to deal with their absences against Hamilton. It means that the likes of Greg Taylor, Lewis Morgan and perhaps Mikey Johnston could start for the Hoops on Wednesday night.
However, the problem with the trio being out is that it might mean they are less likely to feature in the cup final. It would be a risk to start any of the three without giving them game time first.
May be risked as it is a derby?
If the match wasn’t against Rangers then Lennon might not even considering risking the players. However, it is a cup final against Celtic’s biggest rivals. A chance to win 10 domestic trophies in a row, and to put a marker down for the rest of the season.
That could mean that the likes of Edouard and Elyounoussi start the game if not 100% fit. Celtic are a better team with those players in the side.
However, Lennon might well have faith in the players that are currently available. They are on a great winning run at the moment. He will have confidence that whoever starts for the Hoops will be good enough to get the job done.
Only time will tell if the injured trio start against Rangers.