The goalkeeping situation is hotting up at Celtic ahead of Midtjylland

By David Walton

July 12, 2021

With the goalkeeping situation hotting up at Celtic ahead of the Midtjylland tie, it’s starting to look as though Scott Bain could be set to lose his place.

Bain ended the 2020/21 season as the club’s number one. That was despite having a poor record throughout the campaign. He kept eight clean sheets in his 23 appearances for the Hoops, but still managed to concede 30 goals.

So far in pre-season, new manager Ange Postecoglou has started both matches with Vasilis Barkas in goal. The big Greek hasn’t had much to do so far, but has looked solid enough when asked of anything.

Celtic invested heavily in the Greek stopper last month, who has both title-winning and Champions League experience. Not to mention he’s been capped 13 times by the Greece national side.

There will be a determination from the football club to make the most of their investment. And given he’s started both matches so far, combined with closing the previous campaign out with two shutouts, Barkas is in a good place ahead of Midtjylland.

After a 0-0 draw with Hibs back in May, assistant boss John Kennedy stated that bagging two clean sheets to end the previous campaign had set Barkas up well for the new season [Celtic TV].

Barkas over Bain for Celtic vs Midtjylland?

So far, he’s given Postecoglou no reason to drop him when the competitive action starts. The only goal he’s conceded came against Sheffield Wednesday last Wednesday. But he was left horribly exposed and could do nothing about it.

The same couldn’t be said for Scott Bain, who was far too easily beaten again by Charlton’s Conor Washington on Saturday.

The problem Celtic have with the former Dundee and Hibs stopper is that he simply doesn’t save enough. Whilst he’s confident and competent with the ball at his feet, he isn’t dependable when it comes to making big saves. There’s no reason to think that’s suddenly going to change this season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Barkas, meanwhile, has a history and track record of genuine success. We know he has it in him somewhere and that the manager just needs to try and unlock it out of him.

Starting Vasilis in both pre-season games is a big plus for the player. He’s done all he can in both matches so far. And when Celtic head to Bristol on Wednesday, don’t be surprised if it’s Vasilis in between the sticks to start off once again.

Just a week away from Midtjylland, Postecoglou will be forming his best XI. As things stand, there’s no justification for Bain to be on there ahead of Barkas.

In other news: MICHAEL Stewart talks up Celtic star David Turnbull on BBC Sportsound