Having drawn their midweek game against St Mirren, Celtic will know that they need to get a win against St Johnstone before heading into the winter break. The Hoops have already fallen six points behind the Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table and cannot afford to drop more points. But, things are not getting any easier for Ange Postecoglou’s side to say the least.
Celtic already have a number of players out of action, and that list just keeps growing with every passing game.
Joe Hart was a surprise absentee in the game against St Mirren in midweek. And now, Scott Bain is out as well. Both the goalkeepers have been completely left out of the squad in the game against St Johnstone.
That is not all though. Celtic captain, Callum McGregor, is out of the matchday squad as well, as is Anthony Ralston. Thus, it is safe to say that Postecoglou has been scrambling for options and put out a very different looking starting XI against St Johnstone. The club tweeted out their line up:
Postecoglou’s massive Celtic surprise on Boxing Day vs St Johnstone
The only positive to take from this line up is the fact that Kyogo is back in the starting XI. Vasilis Barkas gets a rare appearance while James McCarthy, who has not played a lot of football either, is getting a start as well.
Looking at that starting XI, it does not look like rotation or experiment on the part of the manager. It appears that several Celtic stars are unavailable for this game and Postecoglou has had to do the best with the options that he had to pick his starting XI from.
The situation is far from ideal for Celtic and one can only hope that they are able to get a win out of this game. After that, the winter break will start, and it will give them a three-week period to rest and recover.
This article was originally posted here