Celtic have deen dealt a triple blow ahead of their upcoming Premiership fixture this afternoon.
In recent comments cited by the Daily Record, Ange Postecoglou revealed that none of James Forrest, Christopher Jullien or Greg Taylor will be available for St Johnstone’s visit to Parkhead, as the stricken trio are yet to recover from their respective injuries.
Speaking about the current state of his Celtic squad, the 56-year-old said: “It’s just Forrest, Jullien and Taylor not available for selection.”
However, in more positive news, Postecoglou revealed that he will once again be able to call upon Josip Juranovic this weekend, while James McCarthy is also set to make a return to the Bhoys squad as both players look to be nearing full fitness.
On Juranovic and McCarthy in particular, the Hoops boss said: “Juranovic has trained, he’s fit and available. McCarthy has trained, he’s fit and available.”
While the news that Juranovic and McCarthy look as if they will play some part on Saturday is undoubtedly good for Celtic, the ongoing absences of Forrest, Jullien and Taylor will nevertheless have left Postecoglou gutted.
Indeed, versatile midfielder Forrest has been a huge source of creativity and goals for the Bhoys in recent years, with the 30-year-old having scored 18 goals and registered 20 assists over 56 appearances in all competitions back in 2018/19, as well as bagging 16 goals and providing 22 assists over 47 games the following season.
Meanwhile, centre-back Jullien has proven to be a magnificent signing for the Hoops following his £7.2m arrival from Toulouse back in 2019, with the 28-year-old helping his side to keep five clean sheets, scoring one goal and averaging a superb SofaScore match rating of 7.43 over his nine Premiership appearances prior to his injury last season.
Finally, while the surprising emergence of 19-year-old left-back Adam Montgomery has somewhat covered for the absence of Taylor on the left-hand side of the Celtic backline, the 23-year-old’s continued unavailability will undoubtedly come as a blow to Postecoglou. The Scotland international is a solid and reliable option in that role, recording more interceptions per game (1.5) than any of his Hoops team-mates.
As such, with the 56-year-old hoping that his side can continue their run of excellent recent form against St Johnstone on Saturday, being unable to call upon any of Forrest, Jullien and Taylor for the visit of the Saints will certainly make this task a bit more difficult for Postecoglou.