Neil Lennon set for Moritz Bauer dilemma

By Hamish Carton

November 18, 2019

Celtic’s strength in depth at right-back has come to the rescue as Moritz Bauer looks likely to start at right-back in the upcoming Europa League clash against Rennes.

Neil Lennon’s men go into the clash against the French Cup champions unbeaten from their first four matches. In fact, Rennes are the only side to stop the Bhoys from winning – in what is their only point registered thus far.

(Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images)

The Hoops will confirm top spot in the group if they win and Lazio beat Cluj on matchday five. However, they will go into the game with some issues on the injury front.

Elhamed, Frimpong and O’Connor all won’t play

Israel defender Hatem Abd Elhamed will miss the match after being ruled out for the next six weeks, as reported by the Daily Record. Lennon is likely to call upon teenage sensation Jeremie Frimpong for the majority of the matches in that timeframe but there is a different problem in the European outings.

Frimpong isn’t registered in Celtic’s current Europa League squad. He can be added to the setup for the knockout matches next year but only after the group has been concluded.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With fellow right-back option Lee O’Connor also ineligible for all Group E matches, Bauer looks like the only credible option to play against both Rennes and Cluj.

Lennon has a dilemma over Bauer

Lennon’s dilemma with the 27-year-old Austrian is whether to get him up to speed or not in the match preceding Rennes. Celtic host Livingston this Saturday and it may be worth giving Bauer some game time to make sure he’s ready for his inevitable outing the following Thursday.

Bauer has only featured in two of our last seven matches – and that included a two minute showing away to Lazio. He is very much seen as the third choice right-back at the club following the impressive performances of Frimpong.

(photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

So Bauer needs game time, but it’s also a risk to play him this weekend. Was he to pick up an injury, against an aggressive Livingston side, we would be without any proper right-back options for the Rennes clash.

Lennon may choose to come down on the side of caution with this one, but that could leave us a rusty player for an important clash. It could be worse though. At least we’re already through.