Vasilis Barkas return adds layer of intrigue to Celtic vs St Johnstone

By David Walton

May 11, 2021

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.

Vasilis Barkas has struggled at Celtic /
(Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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:

In other news, Rangers want 10IAR failure to be the end of us – time for Celtic to show them up.