Celtic boss Neil Lennon is in a position that many managers would envy going into the last two games of the Europa League group stages. The Hoops have qualified for the last 32 of the competition already, meaning that the Hoops manager can afford to make a few changes for the games against Rennes and Cluj.
It could mean that some squad players in the Celtic side will get a chance to make an impact in the Europa League. That will benefit both the players, and the club. Neil Lennon has indicated that squad players will feature in the two group stage fixtures.
“It’s imperative that we use the squad…it’s important to give some players game time at that level as well, so, players that not had the chance to play will get the opportunity to play in some of these games” he told Celtic’s YouTube channel.
Here, we look at three players who could feature and make an impact for the Hoops in the Europa League.
The attacker seems to be a favourite of Hoops boss Neil Lennon. He has featured for the Hoops fairly regularly this season. He also played in one of the biggest games of the season, the 1-1 draw with Cluj in the Champions League qualifiers. Morgan was named on the bench for the win over Lazio, but didn’t make an appearance for the team. We won’t really know how good a player he can be until he plays more games for the Hoops. Therefore, it would not be a surprise to see Morgan start against either Rennes or Cluj.
Scott Sinclair is a player who has seen and done it all in his time at Celtic. Therefore, he would not be phased by returning to the first-team in the two remaining Europa League group stage fixtures. In fact, he could thrive in the fixtures. Sinclair has been excellent for the Hoops in Europe, and his experience could help the team win the group and be seeded for the last 32 draw. Sinclair might not have played that often this season. However, when called upon, he could still do a job for the Hoops.
Neil Lennon’s decision to start Jonny Hayes instead of Greg Taylor against Lazio might have surprised some, but the move paid off. Hayes had a fine game in Rome. However, Taylor will need to start featuring for the Hoops sooner rather than later. That is why it would be a good move to give the player some playing time in the Europa League. It would get the player used to featuring in a big game for Celtic. That can only be a bonus for the player at the start of his Hoops career.