Fringe player could be set for Celtic opportunity as supporters await injury update

By Lewis Laird

January 4, 2023

Celtic left-back Alexandro Bernabei could be set for an opportunity in the side following the injury to Greg Taylor at Ibrox.

The Scotland international has been a mainstay in Ange Postecoglou’s side this season and has arguably been one of the best performers.

So it was a big blow to lose Taylor early on in the game against Rangers on Monday after he was forced off with a hamstring knock.

Photo by Steve Christo – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

At this moment in time, it isn’t quite clear how long the defender will be out for. But you would be hoping that it isn’t an extended period of time.

That being said, after being forced off against both Rangers and at Easter Road versus Hibernian in the game previous, you would imagine Postecoglou won’t rush Taylor back into his starting 11.

Supporters will have to wait until the manager greets the media on Friday afternoon to provide the injury update ahead of Saturday’s game against Kilmarnock.

If Taylor is ruled out for this game, and potentially the next few weeks, then it could open up the opportunity for a player to have their first run in the starting 11.

Greg Taylor’s absence could lead to opportunity for Alexandro Bernabei.

Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

The upcoming run of fixtures and Taylor’s potential absence could lead to Argentinian summer signing Alexandro Bernabei being handed his first sustained run in the team.

The full-back has made 10 appearances for the club since his arrival from Lanus as the understudy to the on-form Greg Taylor.

The 22-year-old has showcased some of the attributes he can bring to the side, setting up two Giorgos Giakoumakis strikes against St Johnstone and Hibernian.

However, there is a feeling he isn’t quite fully trusted by Ange Postecoglou yet, with the Celtic boss electing to bring on Josip Juranovic in the left-back position at Ibrox.

Although supporters are likely to have agreed with that move, Juranovic’s performance may have just put an end to the Croatian playing out of his natural position in the Celtic backline.

So, with several home fixtures on the horizon, Bernabei could be handed the opportunity to showcase what he can do, starting with Kilmarnock on Saturday.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

As mentioned, it remains to be seen exactly how long Taylor will be missing, and I am sure Postecoglou will be hoping it isn’t too long, with a trip to Hampden Park in just over a week’s time.

However, it does feel like an ideal opportunity for Bernabei to get some minutes in the side and exhibit how he has developed as a Celtic player in recent months.

In his short display against Hibernian off the bench last week, there were some positive moments from the Argentinian and I am sure he will be hoping to build upon that.

With Postecoglou choosing to play Juranovic out of position rather than bringing Bernabei on at Ibrox, now is the ideal opportunity for the left-back to show why should be trusted next time around.

We should hear later this week whether Taylor will be back in time for the visit of Derek McInnes’ Killie side. But we could see Bernabei starting this one, in my opinion.

In other news, Celtic prospect receives youth international award recognition.