3 minute read
20/2/2022 | 09:35am
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side return to Premiership action this afternoon, with Dundee being the visitors to Parkhead in Sunday’s 15:00 kick-off.
However, with the Bhoys having been on the receiving end of a shock 3-1 defeat against Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League on Thursday, the 56-year-old Hoops manager will undoubtedly already be hatching a plan as to how to give his side the best chance of overturning this two-goal deficit when Celtic make the trip to Norway next week.
And, with a rather fortunate home fixture against the bottom of the table Dark Blues up next for the Bhoys, perhaps Postecoglou could use the match to give a number of his peripheral squad members, as well as those returning from injury, some much-needed first-team minutes – in order to provide those players typically sitting on the Parkhead bench with a bit more match sharpness ahead of the European meeting on Thursday.
One such player who falls into this category is undoubtedly Karamoko Dembele, the 18-year-old winger who is yet to play a competitive fixture under the Greek-Australian coach after fracturing his ankle in pre-season.
Would you like to see Dembele start vs Dundee?
Postecoglou must unleash Dembele
Having recently played 90 minutes for the Celtic B team, as well as being included in Postecoglou’s matchday squad for the home time against Bodo/Glimt, it would appear very much as if the teenager is extremely close to finally making a return to the first team action after a seven-month spell on the sidelines.
And, considering just how excited the Hoops manager appeared to be at the prospect of working with Dembele, it would certainly not be surprising to see the Greek-Australian coach involving the youngster in first-team football at the earliest possible opportunity.
Indeed, speaking about Dembele earlier this season, Postecoglou said: “He is obviously a hugely talented boy. He has been here for a while and I guess he gets an opportunity now. I think the way we play will suit him.
“Hey what positive [against Charlton Athletic], not just with the ball, he also worked hard without the ball. I thought he did well. I never worry too much about age, at either end of the spectrum. It is more about can they do what we want them to do.
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“He has been in and around the first-team squad for a little while now. I think he wants to break through and be a first-team player so I see no reason why anybody needs to protect him from that.”
As such, with there not being a fixture better than a home tie against a side currently sitting rock bottom of the Premiership table to reintroduce Dembele to first-team action, Postecoglou simply must unleash the player John Kennedy dubbed a “superstar” against Dundee.
Indeed, should the £2k-per-week winger get through the match unscathed, he would not only appear to be a potentially game-changing option from the bench against Bodo/Glimt next week, but he could also go on to play a major role in Celtic’s bid to reclaim their Premiership crown over the remainder of the season.
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