Celtic are back in action at home to Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, with the Old Firm giants still seeking a first win in this season’s group stage campaign.
The Hoops’ latest loss in the competition to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig has ensured that the Scottish champions can no longer qualify for the knockout stages, although Ange Postecoglou’s side will still have something to play for with a place in the next round of the Europa League still on the line.
Heading into a clash at Parkhead which could potentially prove decisive in the race to finish third – with the Glasgow side simply having to win to have any chance of avoiding finishing rock-bottom in Group F – there will no doubt be a number of selection decisions for the Bhoys boss to make, with their no doubt intense competition for places at present.
One man who may well find himself out of the side is summer signing Alexandro Bernabei, with the young Argentine having endured a difficult afternoon in the thrilling victory over Hearts at the weekend.
The 22-year-old had gone into that clash at Tynecastle off the back of an impressive run of form for the Scottish Premiership, having shaken off early off-field issues to provide “fierce competition” for usual starter Greg Taylor, in the words of The Athletic’s Owen Brown.
The former Lanus man – who was snapped up on a £3.75m deal in the recent window – had registered two assists in his last two league games heading into the weekend win over Robbie Neilson’s side, although was unable to continue that eye-catching as he produced a frustrating display on the day.
The diminutive full-back seemingly ‘lost his individual battle with Hearts winger Josh Ginnelly‘ – in the words of The Scotsman’s Matthew Elder – having notably failed to prevent the opposition forward from teeing up Lawrence Shankland for the striker’s second of the match just after the break.
That moment epitomised the defender’s limp showing as the 5-foot-7 menace also lost possession 14 times from his 57 touches, while winning just two of his four ground duels, having failed to record a single tackle, interception or clearance.
As it proved the new arrival was subsequently hooked just after the hour mark in favour of the aforementioned Taylor, with his match rating of 6.0, as per SofaScore, having been the worst among his teammates.
To make matters worse for Bernabei, his replacement would go on to net the winning goal off the bench after sliding in at the back post to become the unlikely hero, with it looking likely that it will be the Scotsman who takes his place in the side tomorrow night.
If it is the former Argentina youth international who is ditched, the promising talent can seemingly have few complaints.