Nir Bitton is the ideal short-term fix for Celtic's injury crisis

By John Reid

February 6, 2019

Celtic’s defence against Hibernian on Wednesday will have a bit of a patchwork look to it. Three key players are set to miss the game.

Filip Benkovic and Dedryck Boyata are both set to miss the match because of injury and Kristoffer Ajer is suspended after his red card in the 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

Therefore, it looks to be a case of Jozo Simunovic and one other at the back. The only man for the job is Nir Bitton.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

It isn’t ideal for Bitton – naturally a central midfielder – to be playing at the back. But this is a unique injury and suspension situation that the Hoops find themselves in.

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Brendan Rodgers will have faith in Bitton, even if he hasn’t started a game so far this season.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

He has played Bitton at centre-back before, and it is not likely that this is going to be long-term situation.

Ideally, a player like Jack Hendry would be slotting into the side, but his performances for the Hoops have not been the best.

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

As a result it’s a case of trying to plug the gaps at the back. Bitton might well return to the bench after this game, as Ajer will be back from his suspension.

But for this match against Hibernian, he is the best player possible to partner Simunovic.