The Norwegian team’s sudden change of plans after one of their player’s tested positive could end up being a major cause of concern for Celtic.
Celtic have enough worries on the their hands at the moment already. The Hoops have managed to win just two (against Aberdeen and Motherwell) of their last seven games. And they also broke a 30 year run of never losing three straight games at home. Safe to say, Neil Lennon has his work cut out.
It does not look like he will be helped out by the international break in any way though. The last one was an absolute disaster for Celtic with Hatem Abd Elhamed, Nir Bitton and Odsonne Edouard testing positive while Ryan Christie was placed in isolation after it was adjudged that he was a close contact of Stuart Armstrong, who had contracted the virus as well.
This time around, it might be the turn of Kristoffer Ajer and Mohamed Elhamed who provide the club with some headaches. As reported by The Scottish Sun, the Norwegian national team has changed their travel plans after one of their players tested positive a couple of days ago:
Norwegian team-mate Omar Elabdellaoui contracted the virus earlier in the week and the authorities in Oslo have stopped the group from leaving the country. The team were due to take off today for Bucharest with a great chance of winning their group and gaining promotion.
However, the Norwegian delegation have returned to their hotel, with their training and press conferences cancelled for the day. Plans are being put in place for the group to travel to Romania tomorrow, on the morning of the game, but those plans depend on whether the authorities give the green light.
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Now, we are left waiting for an update on the situation. Initially, when the game between Norway and Israel was cancelled it was because of one of the opposition players had tested positive. But since then there has been a case in the Norwegian camp as well.
The question at this point is whether there will be more positive tests over the next few days as well. Or will the authorities adjudge Elyounoussi and/or Ajer to have been in close contact with Elabdellaoui. Either or both of those cases could be a major worry for the Hoops.
Elyounoussi and Ajer have been two of the better players in what has been a terrible phase for the club and they cannot afford to lose them at this point as a result. At this point of time, there is no confirmation about anything and the wait for the players to return from international football promises to be another agonising one for Celtic fans if the early signs are anything to go by.