Celtic winger Mohamed Elyounoussi’s injury return could reportedly come against Rennes at Parkhead next week.
The Norwegian picked up a foot knock that ruled him out of international contention over the last week. Elyounoussi didn’t feature in either of Norway’s wins against Faroe Islands and Malta respectively.
The immediate fear for supporters would’ve been how long he was out for. With such big games coming up over the next six weeks, it’s imperative that we have someone of Elyounoussi’s quality available.
Fortunately, the Daily Record has today reported that the winger should be fit to face Rennes at Parkhead next Thursday night. They also claim that he hasn’t been totally ruled out for Saturday’s home clash against Livingston. However, given the fact there will be bigger challenges ahead, he could be rested.
Celtic have already qualified for the last-32 of the Europa League. Therefore, there’s also some evidence to back the idea of leaving him out of the Rennes game too. With top place in the group still at stake, however, we could do with playing a strong team in that one.
Our worst fears, fortunately, haven’t been realised
It’s been a bit of an anxious wait for us over the last few days. After hearing that Elyounoussi had left the Norway camp with an injury, you couldn’t blame us for fearing the worst.
But whether it’s Livingston, Rennes, or even Ross County on the Sunday post-Rennes, it effectively confirms that he won’t be out for the long-term.
Now, all we need is to get Neil Lennon’s views on the matter at his press conference tomorrow afternoon. He should hopefully provide further clarity on when to expect the Norwegian back.
With seven goals and six assists in 12 games, it’s fair to say he’s making a contribution (Transfermarkt). He’s the second most productive winger at the club behind James Forrest. So his value to this team can’t be underestimated.
Of course, what it does do is open up potential opportunities. With Mikey Johnston’s fitness still up for debate (he hasn’t played since the 2-0 win at Ibrox nearly three months ago), Lewis Morgan and Scott Sinclair would appear to be the frontrunners.
Given the fact that Lennon has played Morgan 13 times this season to Sinclair’s six (Transfermarkt), you have to back the former. Lenny has been known to spring a surprise or two in his teamsheets, however, so nothing is definitive.
But at the very least, it looks as though Mo won’t be out for long whatsoever.