Could Shane Duffy's international exertions rule him out of vital Celtic fixture against Hibs?

By John Reid

November 19, 2020

When looking at Celtic players involved in international games during the break, only one man played in every minute of all three games during that time. That player is Shane Duffy.

The Ireland captain played every second of the games against England, Wales and Bulgaria. Three which saw Ireland fail to record a win, unfortunately.

The only Celtic player who came close to matching that amount of minutes played during the internationals is Ryan Christie. He started all three of Scotland’s games but was subbed towards the end of the game against Serbia.

Interesting to see how manager uses international players

It will be interesting to see how Neil Lennon uses the players involved on international duty going forward. Will Duffy and Christie be involved against Hibernian on Saturday for example? Nir Bitton also has to be taken into account, when you consider that he played both of Israel’s games during the international break.

However, for now let’s focus on Duffy. He is a player that has been in the news after a less than stellar start to his Celtic career.

However, the 28-year-old has been given a vote of confidence by Ireland manager Stephen Kenny. He made Duffy captain and kept picking him even after a difficult start to life at Celtic.

Possible get out for manager

Will Neil Lennon do the same, and pick Duffy for the trip to Hibernian? What might give the Celtic manager a get out is the fact that he dropped Duffy for the last game before the international break, the trip to Motherwell.

Celtic defender Shane Duffy in action for the Republic of Ireland (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

That, combined with possible fatigue, might well give the Celtic manager the excuse needed not to start Duffy at Easter Road. However, Lennon might want to show that he backs Duffy by bringing him back into the squad at the first available opportunity.

It is not an easy decision for Neil Lennon to make. He will be giving it plenty of thought before picking his team for Easter Road.

In other news, Neil Lennon has potentially exciting news for Celtic’s fringe players.