Celtic boss Neil Lennon has stated that star-striker Odsonne Edouard is likely to miss AC Milan’s Europa League visit on Thursday night.
Edouard was left out of the squad yesterday as the Hoops lost 2-0 at home to Rangers in a crucial first Glasgow derby of the season.
The former PSG youngster had been in self-isolation back in his homeland during the run-up to the game, with question marks now being raised over an exact date for his return.
But it looks as though Lennon’s weekend has gone from bad to worse as he confirmed that the Frenchman most likely won’t be ready in time for the visit of the Serie A giants.
As quoted by The Herald, Lennon said: “He’s had cardiac and blood tests and we’ll see how he is.
“He’s not trained for nearly two weeks and only got back yesterday. We can’t take a chance on anyone’s health and he wasn’t ready anyway. We knew he had no chance but couldn’t say it publicly.
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“I doubt he’ll be okay for Thursday. It’s not like we can just bring him back in for training. He has to be assessed to see how much the virus has taken out of him.”
Ajeti or Griffiths must be handed the baton
Patryk Klimala put in a good solid shift against Rangers, but it simply wasn’t enough to command the spot for Thursday night.
Instead, Lennon simply must turn to one of two proven goalscorers. Albian Ajeti has shown himself to be something of a goal machine since joining in the summer, and after bagging over half an hour yesterday, the time could be right for him to get his first Europa League start.
Leigh Griffiths, meanwhile, caused the Rangers defence some problems after coming on too. On one occasion he managed to get in behind their back-line and round Alan McGregor. He could be a fine option on Thursday night.
But there’s no denying missing Edouard would be a real blow. We’re talking about a player who has a track record of turning it on in big games. A player who would’ve been itching to make an impact after being caged for the derby.
The Celtic manager has a monumental decision to make this week, but it’s vital he doesn’t try to replicate something that clearly didn’t work against Rangers and feature Moi Elyounoussi in behind Klimala.
The fans need something fresh after that abomination yesterday. Hopefully, Lennon can come up with it and we bounce back with a sound win against Milan.