Neil Lennon has confirmed that Celtic could be without two of their first-team stars when they face Hibernian at home on Sunday.
Celtic have struggled to find their form this season as their start can only be described as a stumble. As they have won the majority of their games, as you would expect from a side with this amount of individual talent.
The performances on the pitch have left a lot to be desired though as very often they have had to scrape through games when they should have been blowing away their opponents. And it not just the players who have not performed as a number of Neil Lennon’s decisions have raised questions as well.
Celtic somehow managed to qualify for the next stage of the Europa League qualifiers after beating Riga on the back of a 90th minute winner from Mohamed Elyounoussi. It was game they were expected to win easily though. And this weekend’s game against Hibernian is expected to be a much sterner test, as they are coming off the back of a 2-2 draw against the Rangers.
With the team struggling to find their form, this is the worst time to be hit with further injuries. But that is exactly what has happened as it looks like the Hoops will be without two of their most experienced players on Sunday.
James Forrest had to be brought off in the 35th minute against Riga and there is little hope of him featuring against Hibs. As reported by the Daily Record, Neil Lennon confirmed that he was set to undergo a scan:
“James is struggling a bit. He’s got bruising on the ankle and he’ll need a scan either Friday or Saturday. I don’t know how long he could be out for. He’s really sore and tender. It’s a big worry for us. He’s had it for a couple of weeks, but he’s been able to handle it okay. But it was just too much for him and we had to make the substitution.”
The other man who could be missing is Celtic captain Scott Brown. Broony was at the wrong end of a horror tackle against Riga and it looks like he will be a doubt on Sunday as well:
“We were worried. We thought we might have to take Scott off. Thankfully he was able to carry on. There might be a bit of swelling there, so we’ll need to look at him also for the weekend.”
It is all about perspective though and this could very well be a boon instead of a curse. Jeremie Frimpong is a ready-made replacement for Forrest and is very possibly better than the Celtic veteran at wing-back. Hopefully, Forrest’s injury is not long-term though as that will leave the Hoops will very little depth on the wings.
Brown on the other hand has not been at the top of his game this season. As a result, a rest would do him good and gives someone like David Turnbull the opportunity to show Celtic fans what he is all about.