Most of the fallout of Celtic’s 4-1 loss to Sparta Prague has been about Neil Lennon. That is not really a surprise. After all, he is Celtic’s manager, and the buck stops with him when it comes to poor results.
However, one aspect of the defeat, and indeed Celtic’s poor start to the season that has perhaps gone under the radar is the lack of clean sheets that the team have kept so far this season.
Only nine clean sheets so far this season
In 19 games, Celtic have only kept nine clean sheets. That is not nearly good enough for a team that is hoping to win the league and do well in Europe.
Thankfully, the return of a much-missed Celtic duo could perhaps help resolve the clean sheet concern. That duo is the centre-back pairing of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.
Jullien has been out of action since September, and has been a real miss for the Hoops. His towering presence alone has been a miss. However, the good news is that as reported by the Daily Record Neil Lennon has stated that Jullien should be hopefully back in contention after the international break.
Both players should be back soon
Ajer suffered an injury in the recent draw against Lille. However, the news on his return is also promising. Neil Lennon disclosed, as reported by 67HH that Ajer’s injury isn’t as bad as first feared. Therefore, either one or both players should be available for selection after the international break.
Here’s why that is key. In the nine games where Celtic have kept a clean sheet this season either Jullien, Ajer or both of them have started the game. That shows just how important the duo are to Celtic at the moment.
When Celtic have the duo in the team they look far more comfortable at the back. The duo’s absence really hasn’t helped Celtic at this difficult point in the season. That is why their return can’t come soon enough. It will hopefully lead to more clean sheets as well.
In other news, a Neil Lennon method change could be a risk worth taking.