As St Johnstone get set to welcome Celtic to McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night, it’s been a bit of a chaotic week for them.
Sure, Tommy Wright’s men may have seen off Alex Dyer’s Kilmarnock on Saturday (in fairness, everyone’s doing that these days). However, their squad has become a lot more depleted than it was a week ago.
Before St Johnstone took on Livingston last midweek, Wright had four extra players he could rely on. He had first-choice wingers Drey Wright and Matty Kennedy available to him. In addition to that, Murray Davidson was completing a suspension as Anthony Ralston played at right-back.
However, three of those players definitely look like missing out this weekend. The other, Wright, came off at the weekend against Kilmarnock with a hamstring injury and looks doubtful to be ready for our visit this week.
Celtic can take advantage of Wright’s frustrations
Kennedy has already departed for Aberdeen and made his debut for the Dons in today’s 0-0 draw with St Mirren. He was St Johnstone’s most creative outlet with five goals and five assists this season (Transfermarkt).
That leaves St Johnstone seriously struggling down both flanks. And they’re also depleted in quality in midfield. Davidson fractured his arm, leaving him definitely out for the game against us (FourFourTwo).
Ralston, of course, is on loan from Celtic. He can’t play due to being ineligible to face his parent club. So that leaves Saints boss Wright with plenty of tweaking to do. Wright has also been furious about his club’s work in the transfer market in any case (BBC).
He tried to respond to the squad losses by changing to a 3-5-2 and flooding the midfield on Saturday. However, Scott Tanser, a recognised left-back, was the player forced to maraud down the left on his own. That could leave Celtic with plenty of space to exploit through James Forrest.
If Wright is out, however, they’re going to seriously struggle in finding a right-winger to take his place. David Wotherspoon could potentially play there, but even then it isn’t his natural position.
St Johnstone look to be in deep trouble ahead of Wednesday night. With a lack of signings and a lack of genuine quality on the pitch for Wright, they look a fragile bunch.