Celtic have named two youth players in the team today, proving that where are issues there are also opportunities. The team is missing a number of key players – Abada, Hatate, Mooy, Forrest, Ralston – but the boss seems determined not to let that bother us.
The two kids are Summers and Vata. The rest of the team is what you would expect with those key players out. The interesting change is that Iwata comes straight into the central midfield, and that’s something I think we’ve all been looking forward to.
The selection of Maeda and Taylor suggests that these two are fit. Mooy and Hatate are back in training. Neither of them even makes the bench. That suggests that Ange is saving them for the game against the Ibrox club next weekend, and further, he’s keeping a close watch on them for the Scottish Cup semi final later on in the month.
Smart stuff, as ever, from Ange. He’s not going to take silly chances.
So the team lines up with most of the usual suspects in it. Iwata, McGregor and O’Riley is our midfield three. Maeda, Jota and Kyogo are our front men. The back line picks itself and it has done for a while. Haksa is also fit and on the bench.
Will our young players make it onto the pitch at some point? I certainly hope so because it would be good to see them. But I’m excited about our Japanese midfielder and what he might bring to the party. His inclusion is most welcome, because it allows Callum to push further up the park. That’s something a lot of us think the team has missed.
The important things today are three points … and no further injury concerns. If we accomplish those goals then I think most of us will be pretty happy with the outcome. That sets us next weekend very nicely indeed.