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Celtic: Postecoglou must drop Liel Abada vs Shakhtar

Celtic return to action against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League this evening, with the Hoops having succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to holders Real Madrid in their most recent outing last week.

Despite running the 14-time champions close in what was an enthralling encounter at Parkhead, the Scottish champions were ultimately left licking their wounds as the La Liga side ruthlessly surged ahead after the interval.

As manager Ange Postecoglou recently suggested, his side will need to produce more than just a strong 60-minute display if they are to have success in this season’s competition, with tonight’s clash in Warsaw already potentially crucial to their hopes of progression.

Ahead of what is a mammoth meeting with the Ukrainian side, the title-winning coach will no doubt have a handful of key selection decisions to make, with the Old Firm outfit unable to afford another disappointing result.

One man who could potentially make way is winger Liel Abada, with the Israeli international having notably struggled last time out against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, with his underwhelming first-half display seeing him withdrawn at the break.

That 45-minute outing saw the 20-year-old make just 14 touches and lose possession six times, with journalist Adam Doyle suggesting that the youngster looked “out of his depth” against such elite opposition.

Should Abada start tonight?





Having netted a brace against bitter rivals Rangers just a few days earlier, the expectation would have been for the £6.75m-rated man to be brimming with confidence, yet he went on to produce a largely frustrating display.

The £10k-per-week man saw an early chance turned away by opposition stopper Thibaut Courtois, before spurning an even better opening late in the half after latching onto Jota’s through ball, only to fire his effort straight at the towering Belgian.

That lack of cutting edge will no doubt have been a great source of frustration for Postecoglou amid what was a truly magnificent first-half showing on a collective basis, with the 57-year-old knowing his side will have to be ruthless in front of goal if they are to have any hope of reaching the knockout round.

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With ample depth in the attacking ranks – with teammate Kyogo Furuhashi seemingly set to be available – the former Yokohama boss has plenty of alternatives if he is to take Abada out of the firing line, with a place on the bench perhaps what is needed for the promising, yet misfiring, starlet.

Article title: Celtic: Postecoglou must drop Liel Abada vs Shakhtar

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