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Celtic must unleash Ismaila Soro against Bayer Leverkusen

Celtic have been dealt a tough hand in Europe with Ange Postecoglou having to withstand the test of some troublesome sides.

The Hoops have already come unstuck against Real Betis and they will desperately need to improve when Bayer Leverkusen arrive at Parkhead.

On the chalkboard

Based on Celtic’s recent form, supporters should be incredibly fearful over what result may occur on Thursday evening.

They have lost to Livingston and drawn with Dundee United during their last two league fixtures so the omens don’t exactly bode well.

Postecoglou’s men did score three times against Betis but it would be a great surprise if the same eventuality occurred tomorrow night.

Celtic will still be missing Kyogo Furuhashi and it’s thought that Callum McGregor will almost certainly be absent again.

Should Soro start vs Leverkusen?

Yes please!

Yes please!

No chance!

No chance!

He sat out their last Europa League clash with what was thought to be a knock but he hasn’t played since.

Who plays instead of him will be a crucial point of debate for the manager because he simply hasn’t got it right in the last few weeks.

James McCarthy has been abject to say the least, being terrorised for his performances since a first start in the defeat at Livi. During that clash, the Irishman attempted no attacking actions and lost the ball on 15 occasions.

Sadly, the midfielder was average against Dundee United too, winning just 33.3% of his defensive duels last weekend.

The solution

With that in mind, Postecoglou should consider turning to Ismaila Soro on Thursday, especially in a game where the Bhoys are expected to do more work off the ball.

Like McCarthy, Soro hasn’t been at his best this term and he was fortunate not to be sent off against Betis.

The Ivorian was keen to get stuck in and did make a number of impressive robust tackles. However, he is often caught out with his lack of discipline causing him to throw in challenges even when he’s already been booked.

That being said, the Celtic brute is clearly more dynamic and mean-mannered than McCarthy.

Described as a player with “explosive power” by former coach Ori Guttman, he has been compared to N’Golo Kante and it’s clear to see why.

Soro occupies little pockets of space that enables him to sweep up the play. He reads the game well and is traditionally in the right place at the right time.

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The 23-year-old knows what it takes to put in a defensive masterclass in Europe too. When they beat Lille 3-2 last term, he made a mind-boggling ten successful tackles.

The midfielder has failed to replicate that sort of display since but he simply has to step up with McGregor still on the sidelines.

Now feels like his time to really make a name for himself in Glasgow.

AND in other news, Ange may fix one of Celtic’s biggest problems by signing “lightning-quick” 43-cap ace…

Article title: Celtic must unleash Ismaila Soro against Bayer Leverkusen

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