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Celtic: Parkhead outfit dealt Carl Starfelt injury setback

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has provided an update on the fitness of defender Carl Starfelt, ahead of Wednesday night’s crucial Champions League clash.

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Speaking to Celtic TV, the title-winning coach revealed that the Sweden international is set to be absent for that upcoming meeting with RB Leipzig away in Saxony, albeit with fellow centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers still potentially in with a chance of an inclusion.

The 57-year-old stated: “Everybody got through the weekend’s game really well from a physical standpoint which is important. (I’m) still sort of waiting on Cameron to see how he is.

“And obviously Carl misses out but apart from that everybody is in good shape physically.”

The former Rubin Kazan man – who arrived in Glasgow on a £4m deal last summer – has been absent since being forced off in the Old Firm derby triumph at the start of September with a knee issue, having also been hampered by a hamstring injury in the early weeks of the season.

Concern for Postecoglou

The Parkhead outfit are currently preparing themselves for a potentially vital encounter against the Bundesliga side, with the Hoops still chasing a first group stage win having been held to a frustrating draw away against Shakhtar Donetsk last time out.

Failure to get a positive result this time around would not be the final nail in the coffin with regards to the Glasgow side’s hopes of progression, although it would certainly leave Postecoglou’s men with a sizeable task in the remaining three games.

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As such, the former Yokohama boss will likely be concerned at not having Starfelt in tow once again, with the 27-year-old having previously been integral to the club’s Scottish Premiership triumph last season, keeping a remarkable 18 clean sheets from his 34 league appearances.

Despite enduring a shaky start to life in Scotland – with pundit Michael Stewart dubbing him the ’cause’ of the defensive concerns early on in his time at the club – the £5.4m-rated colossus quickly grew into a key figure, notably averaging 1.2 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per game in the top-flight, with that a better record than that of teammate Carter-Vickers (0.8 tackles and 1.2 interceptions).

Starfelt may have been limited in his involvement so far this term due to his injury woes, although has added another string to his bow in an attacking sense, with two goals in just three league games to date to emerge as a real presence in both boxes.

Such quality would likely have been a real boost heading into the clash with Marco Rose’s side, with Postecoglou likely concerned over the setback of being without one of his first-choice defenders from last season.