Rival player accused of looking "exhausted" days before Celtic clash

By David Walton

March 31, 2022

Rangers defender Calvin Bassey has been accused of looking “exhausted” just days before his side face Celtic in the Scottish Premiership.

Bassey, who’s likely to start for the Ibrox club at left-back, was on international duty with Nigeria over the last fortnight. He was joined by Rangers teammates Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun.

A massive fallout has occurred after they failed to qualify for the World Cup at the final hurdle in a tie against Ghana. It led to a mass pitch invasion whilst their international boss has been sacked. Rangers’ Nigerian stars have also been lambasted by the country’s media, with Bassey in particular getting it in the neck.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Nigerian great Daniel Amokachi has been the latest to get torn into the Ibrox left-back too. And it appears he may be struggling with fatigue as he heads into Sunday’s clash.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Amokachi said: “Calvin Bassey was exhausted after the first half and you could see that he always had his hand on his waist each time. I don’t know why he stayed on for that long.

“The Super Eagles didn’t play at all. The players did not show how important it was for them to play at the World Cup. They were playing as if they didn’t know that there was an away goal rule. The urgency was zero from our players. They didn’t deserve to qualify for the World Cup with the way they played.”

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Celtic can get real joy from Rangers’ left-back area regardless of who plays

It’s up in the air when it comes to who Giovanni van Bronckhorst plays for Rangers in the left-back position. Bassey has played more than Borna Barisic in recent times, but the latter has come in for some of the more difficult domestic fixtures and also played away to Borussia Dortmund.

We already spoke yesterday about how profitable it could be for Celtic if Barisic plays. Given the runaround he was received at Parkhead in February, he’ll still be having nightmares about Liel Abada.

However, even if it’s Bassey, we could easily get plenty of positives from that particular battle too. Regardless of whether he’s up against Abada or Jota – Celtic can really make the most of his potential fatigue issues.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The Rangers players involved for Nigeria are likely to be shattered. Not just physically but mentally too. They put a lot into the last week in a bid to qualify for the World Cup and failed to do so. Given the travelling involved for them too? They won’t be at 100% by the time Sunday rolls around.

And that’s why Bassey, who appears to have shown his tiredness, is one to exploit going forward for Celtic. He played 88 minutes on Tuesday night also. It’s not as if he was rested at half-time.

We’ll see what condition these Rangers players are in come kick-off. But regardless of who plays at left-back for them, Celtic look like getting some real joy.

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