Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou has confirmed that Cameron Carter-Vickers will be absent for their clash with the La Liga side away from home this evening.
Scottish Daily Mail reporter Stephen McGowan has relayed the manager’s update on the central defender. He Tweeted:
“Celtic flew to Madrid without injured defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, reports Ange Postecoglou.”
The nature and severity of the injury remain unknown at this moment in time but, for now, he joins Callum McGregor on the sidelines for this match.
Celtic are heading into the game without any chance of retaining a place in Europe as they are four points adrift of third place in their group, which means they cannot progress through to the knockout stages of the Europa League or the Champions League.
However, it would be nice for the club to end the group with a win, rather than being winless across their six matches in the competition, and that is why this injury setback is a big blow.
Carter-Vickers has started four of Celtic’s Champions League matches and shown glimpses of the form he displays week-in-week-out in the Premiership – completing 95% of his attempted passes and winning 63% of his individual duels.
The £20k-per-week earner has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.09 in the Scottish top-flight this term and won 66% of his battles, which shows that he is consistently putting in superb performances and dominating opposition attackers.
His 14 starts across the league and European competition also show that the “immense” defender – in the words of Chris Sutton – is a first-choice selection for Postecoglou at the back and the manager will surely be frustrated to lose such a key member of his team.
This means that Celtic have lost a strong and consistent figure as well as their captain in recent weeks because of this latest setback. With that in mind, it’s certainly worrying for Postecoglou as, without the defender in their ranks, their chances of securing any sort of a result have grown even slimmer.
It could also be a huge setback for the Hoops if it turns out to be a long-term problem that causes him to miss multiple games, as the club would then have to cope without a crucial head domestically.