Celtic must fix selection error from last Glasgow Derby

By Sean Clifford

April 27, 2021

Most Celtic fans would concur that the last Glasgow Derby did not live up to expectation.

Chasing a place in the Scottish Cup quarter finals, Celtic turned in an erratic performance at both ends of the pitch. Despite having the correct intentions, interim boss John Kennedy made selection errors that contributed significantly to the 2-0 defeat [Sky Sports].

One of the blunders the 37-year-old committed was the choice of Diego Laxalt, as opposed to Greg Taylor at left-back. Despite the Uruguayan international’s pedigree, Laxalt turned in a disheartening display at Ibrox. Looking towards Sunday lunchtime, it is imperative Taylor replaces his positional counterpart in the side.

Intriguingly, since joining from Kilmarnock in 2019 [The Scottish Sun], Taylor has never started against Rangers for the Hoops. All in, he has only featured for 51 minutes against our adversaries [Transfermarkt]. In a game of little material significance, surely now the time is right to grant Taylor a starting opportunity.

Greg Taylor in action for Celtic v Motherwell / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

       Taylor retains a balance of defensive and offensive attributes; this could bode well for Celtic at Ibrox

 In a game where level-heads reign supreme, Taylor may be the ideal player to aid a positive result this Sunday. Going forward, he will be able to provide a stable threat to the Rangers rear-guard. In terms of assists, the Greenock-born full back has managed the third highest total in the Celtic side [Transfermarkt].

He has also made a respectable 1.5 key passes per game from deep [WhoScored], illustrating his capacity to link up with offensive creators. Likely to have Mohamed Elyounoussi playing in-front of him, the left-side may deliver a pivotal threat to the opposition.

Criticism was thrust towards Laxalt in the previous clash for his sloppy one-on-one defending. Beaten too easily by Joe Aribo, his flat-footed nature played a part in the second goal. Comparatively, Taylor fared marginally better when substituted on for the second half of the fixture.

The former Kilmarnock man rarely comes off second best in the challenge. Reflected in his successful tackle ratio of 1.5 per 90 minutes [WhoScored], Taylor would provide some stability to a shaky backline. Complicit in 14 clean sheet efforts in 2020/21 [Transfermarkt], he may be a safer bet than Laxalt heading into the final derby of the season.

READ MORE: The problematic trend Celtic must eradicate on the next trip to Ibrox