How Ange Postecoglou could spring a surprise or two with his Celtic match-day squad
It wouldn’t be unfair to say Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has some options to consider going into today’s match against St Johnstone.
With Carl Starfelt, Tom Rogic and Giorgos Giakoumakis all absent, he already have decisions to make. Specifically in regards to defence and his midfield. Sorry, Giorgos.
There were some interesting photographs coming out of the club in recent days, though [Celtic FC]. Owen Moffat featured prominently, which could be a sign he’s in for the match-day squad. James Forrest was a central focus, despite the improved form of Liel Abada.
Ditto players like Boli Bolingoli and Osaze Urhoghide. Bolingoli has performed well when called upon this season, while Urhoghide hasn’t really had any opportunities for Celtic yet.
In terms of countering specific threats, Bolingoli might be a good option. St Johnstone do so much of their attacking down the flanks. Having a naturally left-sided full-back on might pay dividends, even though Juranovic has been superb.
That creates a bigger question at right-back. If, indeed, Postecoglou opts for Bolingoli on the left, who starts out of Juranovic and Ralston, both now internationals?
Without Starfelt, Welsh will of course be called upon. Behind him, though, it looks as if Urhoghide might be the deputy, ahead of someone like Dane Murray.
There are interesting shouts to be made in the Celtic squad today.
Ange Postecoglou choices and his Celtic young guns could be valuable for a tough St Johnstone test
No doubt, it’ll be a test for Ange Postecoglou and his Celtic side today, whoever he picks. As is well-covered, St Johnstone are good in the cups, especially at Hampden.
It might end up being the bench that’s crucial today. At the time of writing, the weather in Glasgow isn’t being particularly kind. A gruelling back-and-forth in the Mount Florida rain will be one of Postecoglou’s biggest challenges yet as Celtic manager.
Therefore, in-game management is crucial. We have the squad depth that St Johnstone just don’t, with respect. Especially with young talents who could make an impact on a game like this.
Hampden is a place where Celtic players can become heroes. Odsonne Edouard can attest to that. Tom Rogic, no question. That’s just in recent times.
Seeing Owen Moffat make a telling impact, Bolingoli revitalise his Celtic career in a lasting way, or Urhoghide making his first impression would be a delight.
Postecoglou has choices to make beyond his starting XI. And those choices could be absolutely vital.