There isn’t much that has Celtic fans excited for tomorrow’s clash against St Johnstone at Parkhead, but the potential return of Vasilis Barkas at least adds one interesting aspect to the game.
Interim manager John Kennedy confirmed today that Scott Bain has a finger injury that they aren’t taking any chances on [Celtic Twitter]. Given Barkas has been Bain’s back-up in recent months, he looks well placed to end his four-month first-team absence tomorrow evening.
Not that the game means anything of course. Fans have been drained of all enthusiasm for this one, and it’s clear that we all simply want the campaign to be over and done with now.
But at the very least, Barkas’ potential start gives us something to look forward to. It’s important, of course, to understand that Kennedy didn’t confirm the Greek goalkeeper would replace Bain. However, it looks like the most logical option given Conor Hazard, Celtic’s third choice, hasn’t been part of recent matchday squads.
And, for the first time in a while, Celtic fans may want to see a rival side get some joy against us.
Important for Celtic fans to see what Vasilis Barkas can do
Earlier on this season, Barkas’ inclusion in the starting XI wasn’t an issue. In fact, he only conceded four goals in his first eight league games, with five clean sheets to boot [Transfermarkt].
In a sense, we were lulled into a false sense of security over him. This was due to the fact that teams were struggling to get at us to any great degree in the first couple of months of the season. Before everyone appeared to work this Celtic team out, Barkas didn’t have a lot to do in his first two months in Scotland.
And that’s what would make it ideal if Saints managed to land a blow or two on us tomorrow night and create some openings. It would be spiriting if Barkas managed to make a few decent stops. It would give us a bit more confidence in him ahead of a tougher final game of the season at Easter Road.
Hibs will undoubtedly bring the fight to us in their quest to wrap up third place. However, Barkas needs to show he can cope with some efforts from St Johnstone first and foremost. It’s time to see whether his break out of the team has done him any good as he prepares for his third spell as first-choice.
And below, we take a look at some of the more optimistic comments surrounding Barkas’ potential return from Twitter:
Barkas has risen. https://t.co/oD8bgJ3fQr
— CelticLisboa (@CelticLisboaa) May 11, 2021
Oh my god
— John Coyle (@JohnCoyle67) May 11, 2021
— Arron (@_AW67) May 11, 2021
The Barkas comeback story is beginning early. https://t.co/PNsCL5tCDH
— Bhoys Analytics (@BhoysAnalytics) May 11, 2021
The back Barkas train starts now baby
— Seán Markus Clifford (@seanmarkus_67) May 11, 2021
He’s a good keeper and i’m not having any Barkas slander
— Billy 🇵🇸 ➐ (@Billylowe67) May 11, 2021
Cometh the hour, cometh the Barkas.
— Kev Murray (@KevMurrayOff) May 11, 2021
There’s a great keeper there just played in front of a fractured defence battered by covid.
— The 🐺 of Caledonia (@Stavroszx79) May 11, 2021