Celtic have been dealt a double injury blow ahead of their upcoming Europa League fixture.
What’s the latest?
Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via Jo Hendry), Ange Postecoglou revealed that both Tom Rogic and Carl Starfelt are set to miss Thursday evening’s trip to Bayer Leverkusen, as the pair are yet to recover from their respective injuries.
Summarising the 56-year-old’s comments, Hendry said: “Rogic [is] close but [we] will probably leave [him] until [the] weekend. Starfelt [is] a few days behind that.”
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Postecoglou will be fuming
Considering just how short of options Postecoglou is in both central midfield and at centre-back, the fact that neither Rogic nor Starfelt have recovered in time for Thursday evening is sure to have left the Bhoys boss fuming.
Indeed, although it would appear as if 21-year-old Stephen Welsh does look set to be involved after being withdrawn in the League Cup semi-final last weekend with a facial injury, whether or not the defender is fit to start is another matter entirely.
If he is not, Starfelt’s continued absence means that Postecoglou will be left with the options of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Osaze Urhoghide and Liam Scales as starters in the heart of his defence, with the latter two of this trio having made just three appearances between them for Celtic so far this season.
Meanwhile, Rogic’s unavailability also means that the Hoops are once again lacking in attacking midfielders, with Postecoglou opting to field the more defensively-minded Nir Bitton alongside Callum McGregor and David Turnbull in recent weeks.
As such, with Celtic in desperate need of a win at the BayArena if they are to have any hope of making it through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, the duo’s absence will undoubtedly come as a major blow to the 56-year-old manager, as his job on Thursday night has just been made that little bit more difficult.