Neil Lennon doesn't expect Celtic duo to feature against Hearts

By John Reid

February 12, 2020

Neil Lennon had some good news for Celtic fans ahead of Wednesday night’s vital league game against Hearts, as disclosed on a video on Celtic’s YouTube channel.

He disclosed that the pairing of Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton have return to training after long spells out of the side.

However, the Hoops boss went on to say that the game against the Tynecastle side will come too soon for either player.

“Might be too early”

“Got a few players back, Hatem and Nir are back in training…for Hatem and Nir, tomorrow might be too early” Lennon said.

When you consider how long Elhamed in particular has been out of action – he hasn’t played for Celtic since the 2-1 win over Lazio, it makes sense for the Hoops boss to take his time with the duo.

What will be interesting is where Bitton and Elhamed fit into the current Hoops side that is going great guns in the 3-5-2 formation.

Celtic’s Nir Bitton (Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Bitton could well continue to feature for the Hoops as a utility player, like he has done in all of his time with the club.

With three spots in defence and five in midfield, he won’t lack game time. The formation could play to Elhamed’s attacking side.

Could find it hard to get into side

He will be able to play as a wing-back rather than a right-back. However, he may find it hard to hold down a first-team place with competition from Jeremie Frimpong and James Forrest.

It is good news for Celtic though that both players could be back in first-team action sooner rather than later.

Elhamed playing against Lazio (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The more squad players that return to action the more the Hoops will have a chance to keep their excellent run of form going.

It is also good news when you consider that the team returns to European action next week, and the squad could be used to its fullest.