Celtic talisman desperately needs a good performance in Glasgow Derby

By Sean Clifford

April 27, 2021

As per expectation, Odsonne Edouard probably will not be a Celtic player beyond next season.

In the midst of interest from Arsenal and Leicester, the Frenchman looks set to move on to pastures new [Telegraph]. Nevertheless, there is still the small matter of the Glasgow Derby on Sunday to sort out. Indicative of how influential Edouard has been for Celtic, there is no surprise with the reality of derby proceedings in recent months.

Edouard has not registered a single goal in the fixture in 2020/21 [Transfermarkt]. Consequentially, it is hardly surprising that Celtic have not yet won against this campaign against their arch-rivals. Of course, there is an understanding that the Hoops have over-relied on their talisman in recent years.

Despite this, his inability to convert either the penalty or infamous gilt-edge volley opening from six yards out heavily contributed to the 2-0 defeat [BBC]. Edouard has not performed to his usual standards in big matches over the last year. Even in the face of intense criticism this campaign, he has still scored 21 goals [SoccerBase] and on his day has the capability to dismantle defences single-handedly.

               

Celtic star Odsonne Edouard doing Odsonne Edouard things / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

 

Celtic star needs to prove his worth once again

In his best performance against Rangers this year, Edouard recorded an assist in the 1-1 stalemate at Parkhead in March [Sky Sports]. Running off strike-partner Mohamed Elyounoussi, the French Under-21 delivered a sparkling cross across the face of goal for the Norwegian to attack.

Instructed by John Kennedy, Edouard was encouraged to move out wide to create a conundrum for the opposition backline. Not knowing whether to follow the 23-year-old or stay put, Celtic’s record signing was able to find room for manoeuvre. Intelligently, the striker found space playing in the half-spaces between Rangers’ centre-backs and full-backs.

Even if Kennedy were to utilise the 4-2-3-1 formation, Edouard would still be implored to target the wide areas. However, Celtic need to make sure these movements occur in purposeful areas. Far too often this season, his patterns of build up play have come from deeper positions. Too far out to cause offensive damage, he needs to be in a position to run at and stretch defences.

Undeniably, profligacy is an unwanted trait embedded into Celtic’s make-up at present. Edouard has been guilty of that alongside others. When the chances come, he will need to be on guard to add the crucial final touch. If the French Guiana-born frontman can take advantage, the Bhoys could have a road to a morale boosting three points.

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