3 minute read
17/2/2022 | 08:40am
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side return to European action this evening, with the Bhoys facing Bodo/Glimt in the play-off round of the Europa Conference League.
And, with the 56-year-old Bhoys boss and fans of the club alike undoubtedly hoping that Celtic can string together a European cup run this season, the Greek-Australian coach will be looking to select his strongest possible XI for the visit of the Norwegian side.
As such, one change that it would appear highly advisable for Postecoglou to make this evening is the reintroduction of Jota, after the Portuguese winger was dropped from Celtic’s starting lineup in the Bhoys’ 4-0 win over Raith Rovers last weekend.
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Postecoglou must unleash Jota
With the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Josip Juranovic, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Liel Abada all having highly impressed since their respective moves to Parkhead this season, it is easy to forget just how important Jota’s arrival has been to Postecoglou and his side .
Indeed, over his 17 league outings this term, the Benfica loanee has been in remarkable form for the Bhoys, scoring seven goals, registering five assists and creating five big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.6 shots and making 1.4 key passes per game.
These metrics have seen the £4.95m-rated forward average an extraordinary SofaScore match rating of 7.35, ranking the Portugal U21 international as the seventh-best player in the Scottish top flight.
However, it has not only been domestically that the 22-year-old has shone for Celtic, as, over his five Europa League fixtures, the £7.1k-per-week sensation has bagged a further two goals, provided two assists and created four big chances, as well as making an average of 1.8 key passes and taking 2.8 shots per game.
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These returns saw the player who Portuguese football expert Aaron Barton dubbed “one of the brightest prospects to come out of Portugal in his age bracket” average an even more impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.40, ranking him as Celtic’s best performer in the competition.
As such, Postecoglou should wish to give Celtic the best possible chance of securing passage through to the next round of the Conference League, it would appear essential that the 56-year-old starts Jota from the off this evening, as the Portuguese magician has already proven he can blow European opposition away this season.
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