Celtic have been hit with two new injury blows ahead of their return to Premiership action against Hibernian this afternoon…
Sky Sports News journalist Alison Conroy has revealed that David Turnbull and Stephen Welsh will both miss out after sustaining knocks this week.
Jota remains out injured and has now been joined by the duo, although Liel Abada – who suffered a blow in midweek against RB Leipzig – is in contention to play.
“Jota will miss Celtic’s game v Hibs, should be back in training next week. Ababa (Abada) is fit & available. Turnbull & Welsh also out after picking up knocks.”
The news that Turnbull is unavailable is a big blow for Ange Postecoglou that should leave him gutted as the Scotland international could have come back into the starting XI for this match.
He was on the bench as Celtic lined up with a 4-2-3-1 in the Champions League during the week but they have alternated between that and a 4-3-3 in the Premiership, with the Scottish international previously thriving as one of the eights in the latter formation.
Postecoglou could have moved back to a 4-3-3 for this clash with Hibernian and slotted Turnbull in as one of the three in the middle of the park, alongside Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate, but he will now have to go with a different option for that position if he makes a change of shape.
The former Motherwell gem, who ex-Scotland international Michael Stewart once dubbed a “Rolls Royce“, enjoyed a terrific 2021/22 campaign in the Scottish top-flight as he consistently delivered quality in the final third whilst playing as a number eight.
Alan Hutton described his performances as “outstanding” and his numbers in the Premiership back that up. The above statistics show that he is capable of delivering sublime performances week-in-week-out, as no Celtic player with five or more appearances in the league averaged a higher rating than him.
This season, the £14k-per-week magician has only started four matches in an injury-disrupted campaign so far. In those games, he has produced one goal and two assists, whilst creating two ‘big chances’ and 1.8 key passes per game – as per SofaScore.
He has the quality to be a standout performer for the club with his ability in possession and that is why the head coach should be gutted by his latest injury blow, as Turnbull will not be available to provide his creativity from midfield in this game.