Celtic have a rare luxury against Cluj in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Hoops go into the game has Europa League Group E winners, and could play a reserve team if they wanted in the fixture.
Neil Lennon will most likely not do that, however he will no doubt give a chance to some of Celtic’s fringe players.
It will be interesting to see if he gives a chance to some Hoops youngsters who are in the club’s Europa League squad.
If you look at Celtic’s Europa League squad, the Hoops have seven teenagers in the squad. Of course, that does not mean that each of those players will travel to Romania for the game.
Youngster has played for first-team
However, it could be a good experience for any that are chosen. One player who has been included in the European squad list, and has experience of first-team football for the Hoops, is Karamoko Dembele.
Dembele, who is still only 16, made his Hoops first-team debut in the last league game of last season, a 2-1 win over Hearts.
He has yet to feature for the first-team this season. However, this could be the ideal game for the player to make his European debut for the Hoops.
He trained with the senior players at Barrowfield this morning.
Players can be given a chance in this game
The game is for the most part meaningless for the Hoops, that means Neil Lennon can afford to give players a chance. That applies to Dembele, who has starred for the Hoops in the academy and reserve sides. We won’t know how good he can be until he gets another chance for the first-team.
Perhaps some other players who could feature are Scott Robertson, who was in the squad as an unused substitute for the 3-1 win over Rennes, and Barry Coffey, who was recently pictured training with the first-team.
The other teenagers eligible from Celtic’s ‘B List’ are goalkeeper Ryan Mullen, Kerr McInroy, Paul Kennedy and Grant Savoury.
Jeremie Frimpong’s recent success for Celtic shows that Neil Lennon is not afraid to give young players a chance. Sadly the young right-back hasn’t been included in the UEFA squad list for the group stages.
It will be interesting to see just how many feature for the Hoops in Romania.