Celtic have been dealt a late injury blow ahead of their upcoming Scottish Premiership clash.
According to a recent report by The Herald, Celtic centre-back Carl Starfelt will be unavailable for selection against Hearts this evening, as the defender does not look to have recovered from a hamstring injury that has seen him miss the Bhoys’ last six fixtures – despite the defender being pictured in training at Lennoxtown on Wednesday.
With the fixture against third-placed Hearts tonight being an extremely important one for Celtic, with a win reducing the gap between the Hoops and the current Premiership leaders to just four points ahead of the busy Christmas schedule, the news that Starfelt will not be available for selection is sure to have left Ange Postecoglou fuming.
Indeed, the Sweden international has highly impressed over his 11 league appearances so far this season, helping his side keep five clean sheets, as well as making an average of 1.5 interceptions, 1.1 tackles and winning 6.3 duels per game.
These returns have seen the £2.7m-rated man average a SofaScore match rating of 7.23, ranking him as the Bhoys’ joint fifth-best performer in the top flight of Scottish football – of the players who still remain in Postecoglou’s first-team squad.
What makes his time on the sidelines even more problematic is that since his time out, the Hoops are yet to keep a clean sheet in Premiership action, conceding to both Dundee FC and Aberdeen.
As such, the continued absence of the centre-back will undoubtedly come as a major blow to the 56-year-old manager and his side, who will be desperate to secure all three points against Hearts in order to keep pace in the Premiership title race.