It looks like there will be a few changes to the Celtic line up against St Johnstone, but Ange Postecoglou is likely to be hoping not to need an unusual switch in defence. The games are still coming thick and fast with the next match on Saturday, Christmas Eve, against the Saints at Parkhead.
It was a win against Livingston on Wednesday and three more points secured, but Postecoglou has a number of things to ponder given that he did sound too happy after the match with the performance.
Celtic could have a problem and a forced change to make at right-back though, if Anthony Ralston doesn’t recover sufficiently from an injury picked up against Livingston. The Scot suffered a few knocks and in the end left the Parkhead pitch shortly into the second-half on Wednesday evening.
The right-back position is usually filled by either Ralston or Josip Juranovic, but the latter is still away after his deep World Cup campaign. The Croatian should return next week but won’t be available for Saturday and the subsequent match against Hibernian on December 28 could well be too soon for him as well.
Celtic boss gives update on the situation of Ralston
On Wednesday, Postecoglou brought Greg Taylor over to fill the right-back position and brought on Alexander Bernabei for Ralston. While that remains an option again, the manager seems to be hopeful of the Scottish international’s situation. As reported by the Daily Record, he said:
"“I don’t think it’s anything too bad. He had a bang on the nose and his back seized up after a challenge, but I’ll wait until after the physio has seen him. I don’t think it’s anything too serious.”"
Longer term, Postecoglou has new signing in Alistair Johnston to help fill the gap. He’ll be available only after the new year, after his transfer to Celtic is formally registered when the January transfer window opens.
Let’s hope Ralston is back as soon as possible, as he has been in decent form of late. We can hope he is fit to feature at the weekend and that our strikers can sharpen their movement to meet a few more of the full backs’ great whipped balls across the six-yard box.