Nir Bitton can't pass up opportunity to show that he should start qualifier

By John Reid

August 1, 2019

Nir Bitton has the chance to prove to Neil Lennon that he deserves to start for Celtic in next week’s Champions League match against Cluj.

The utility man has been an ever present for the Hoops this season. He has played in a variety of positions, bust mostly at centre-back.

Certain to start at centre-back

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He seems certain to start at centre-back once more when Celtic take on St Johnstone on Saturday. The centre-back duo of Christopher Jullien and Jozo Simonovic are suspended for the game.

Therefore, Bitton has a chance to show Neil Lennon that he should be selected for the Cluj match at centre-back.

Lennon has trusted the player at centre-back this season. However, Cluj would be a step-up in class than the teams he has played against so far this season.

Provides an extra option for manager

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, should Bitton play well against St Johnstone it does at least give Lennon another option at centre-back for the Champions League qualifier.

It would not be a surprise to see Bitton involved against Cluj anyway, even if it is not at centre-back. He could well be selected to play in the middle of the park, to try to stifle the Cluj attack.

However, Lennon may decide to play him at centre-back should he excel against St Johnstone. It would be a bit of a gamble, but Lennon obviously has plenty of confidence in the player’s abilities.