David Turnbull set for another big Celtic chance after Ange's Friday update

By Lewis Laird

August 12, 2022

Celtic midfielder David Turnbull looks all set to keep his place in the side as the Hoops travel to take on Kilmarnock.

The 23-year-old made his first start of the campaign last week on the trip up to Ross County, taking his place in the starting 11 alongside Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley.

Turnbull stepped in to replace the injured Reo Hatate, who was missing from the 3-1 win after picking up an injury on the opening day of the season.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Ahead of Sunday’s visit to Rugby Park, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou revealed that the Japanese internationalist would once again be missing from the squad.

Although Hatate has since recovered and returned to training from the knock sustained against Aberdeen, the 56-year-old has decided not to risk his return this week due to Kilmarnock’s Astroturf playing surface.

It may be slightly unfortunate for the January signing. However, from David Turnbull’s point of view, it has given him another opportunity to continue his impressive start to the campaign.

Coming into the competitive action, Postecoglou will have had a tough choice to make as to who would be his starting midfield three for the opening games in the Scottish Premiership.

This is due to not only the positive pre-season had by Turnbull but also Hatate and Matt O’Riley. So, the Celtic manager’s selection headache may be a little easier once again this weekend, with the fitness of the former Kawasaki Frontale man making his mind up for him.

All three players deserve the chance to showcase their ability. But, for me, Turnbull is the player who is benefitting the most from Hatate’s absence at the moment. But, at the same time, his chance in the side is well earned.

Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

During his friendly outings in pre-season, the midfielder put in some solid displays, and that also continued into the competitive fixtures with his substitute appearance against the Dons.

Last weekend’s game marked his first start, and the Scotland internationalist played 72 minutes of the 3-1 win before being replaced.

Overall, the Bhoys had very comfortable control during the game, and as usual, the midfielder three had a huge part to play in that.

You would imagine that after setting up Jota’s stunning strike on the opening day, Turnbull was keen to grab a goal of his own.

However, that didn’t come for him. But, this Sunday should provide him with another opportunity to increase his goal contributions tally and continue a strong start to the new campaign.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

As he has shown in the past, that certainly won’t knock Turnbull’s confidence and will only make him even more hungry to help the side towards another three points against Kilmarnock.

Ange Postecoglou has already shown in his first 12 months in the dugout how much he rates the former Motherwell man, and he will be putting his faith in him once again this weekend.

By putting in a big performance this weekend, it could potentially lay down a marker ahead of some huge games in the coming weeks.

In other news, Matt O’Riley’s “not ideal for the body” verdict of Kilmarnock pitch ahead of Celtic trip.