Celtic FC squad: Coach Ange Postecoglou’s “headache” about team’s force
Before the 4-0 win over Hibernian, coach Ange Postecoglou confirmed that Sead Haksabanovic was forced to miss Celtic's match due to a foot injury. The 23-year-old Montenegro international, the reigning SPFL Premiership player of the month, was not listed on the official teamsheets at Easter Road on Wednesday night as Haksabanovic had picked up an injury.
Celtic coach told Radio Scotland: "We've had a few issues in and around the team in the last few days. Haksabanovic has had a bit of a foot problem - we're just getting that sorted out but he's still not right."
Haksabanovic is suffering a foot injury.
Haksabanovic also missed the match against Aberdeen when he got injured at the training ground before returning to play 27 minutes against Livingston and then 28 minutes against St Johnstone.
Anthony Ralston is another cause for concern, as he failed to make the matchday 20 for the second game in a row. The Scotland international was forced off against Livingston due to a back injury, and Japanese midfielder Reo Hatate filled in admirably at right-back for Celtic's Christmas Eve match against St Johnstone, scoring twice.
Anthony Ralston is also not in the best shape.
Coach Postecoglou once said before the match against Hibernian: "We will see about Ralston. There was improvement yesterday, and there was improvement today. We obviously have an extra day's break for this game, so we will assess it as we move along. It's unlikely Josip will play. He will get back, but because he had a minor injury as well, he probably hasn't done too much. We'll assess him when he gets in, but I think it's unlikely."
Josip Juranovic, who had recently returned from Croatia's triumphant World Cup campaign in Qatar, where he and his country ended in third place after defeating Morocco, was also unavailable for at least one more match in addition to the two players mentioned above.
In addition, James McCarthy's protracted hamstring issue keeps him out of action, while young defender Stephen Welsh is also dealing with an unspecified minor ailment.
From the beginning of the season, Celtic FC has been showing a superior performance compared to other opponents. After 19 rounds, Postecoglou's team won 18 matches and was defeated only in one match, losing to St. Mirren with a score of 2-0 in the 8th round of the Premiership.
However, Celtic could not bring that impressive series of performances to the European competition. In this season's Champions League, Celtic have lost 4 matches and drawn 2 matches, won only 2 points, and were officially eliminated from the group stage.
It is doubtful that the club led by coach Postecoglou would see any dramatic changes after being ousted from the Champions League after losing to challenging opponents. In order to effectively defend the championship title that they earned last year, they will be able to fully concentrate on the domestic league.