While things at Celtic look as if they have started to click under Ange Postecoglou in recent weeks, with the Hoops picking up back to back away wins in their last two league fixtures, the 56-year-old manager will nevertheless know that Tuesday evening’s Europa League tie is already something of a make or break game in the Bhoys’ season.
As such, while the Hoops’ hopes of qualification for the knockout stages of the competition are already extremely thin, a win against the Hungarian side is a must should Postecoglou have any hope of his team making it out of the group.
So, with nothing but victory being enough, it would seem essential that the Greek-Australian manager fields as strong a side as possible against Ferencvarosi – with summer signing Giorgos Giakoumakis appearing to be a must in the Bhoys starting XI.
Life at Parkhead has got off to a rather slow start for Giakoumakis since his £2.5m move this summer, with the centre-forward managing a grand total of just 33 minutes of game time over his two appearances in green and white.
However, with both of these appearances coming in Celtic’s last three games, and Postecoglou insisting before the club’s 2-0 win over Motherwell last weekend that the 26-year-old is “ready to make an impact” for the Hoops after a series of injury setbacks, the 56-year-old must finally unleash Giakoumakis from the off against Ferencvarosi.
While the forward is yet to demonstrate his goalscoring ability in front of the Parkhead faithful, should Celtic fans require evidence that the Greek international is capable of firing them to the knockout stages of the Europa League, all that is needed is to look at the striker’s astonishing returns for VVV-Venlo last season.
Indeed, over his 30 Eredivisie appearances last term, the £2.25m-rated man scored a league-high 26 goals, registered one assist and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 3.2 shots and making 0.5 key passes per game.
These metrics saw the player who Jeroen Kapteijns dubbed a “phenomenon” average a remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.35, not only ranking him as his club’s best performer in the Dutch top-flight but also as the joint sixth-best in the entirety of the league.
As such, with Postecoglou in desperate need of three points on Tuesday evening, the 56-year-old simply must unleash the goal machine that is Giakoumakis, as the centre-forward is clearly more than capable of putting a team such as Ferencvarosi to the sword and firing the Hoops closer towards the knock-out stages.