Saturday marks arguably Celtic’s most important game of the season so far as they face their Old Firm rivals in the early kick-off.
Neil Lennon’s side are currently 16 points behind Rangers in the Scottish Premiership, albeit with three games in hand but you fear that defeat in the derby game could well put an end to the Bhoys’ chances of securing their tenth title win in a row.
Lennon eased the pressure on his job after winning the Scottish Cup last month after defeating Hearts on penalties but defeat in this game could give the Celtic board a lot to think about.
Unfortunately for the Irish manager, he looks to have been handed a huge blow ahead of the derby game with centre-back Christopher Jullien not pictured in training ahead of the game, surely all-but confirming he will be absent at Ibrox.
The Frenchman smashed into the post during Wednesday’s 3-0 win against Dundee United and required help to leave the pitch, with Lennon confirming after the game that he had injured his knee.
The former Toulouse man has been in superb form for the Hoops in his performances so far this season, averaging an excellent 7.46 rating across his nine appearances in the Scottish top-flight.
This is enough to rank the 27-year-old as Celtic’s second-best performer in the league, behind only Ryan Christie, which emphasises just how important he is and what a disaster this is for Lennon, as well as how much of a miss he will be in Saturday’s derby game.
However, with Celtic having won their last four games in the league, they will still be in confident form ahead of the game against Steven Gerrard’s side and will surely know that they need to win the game in order to keep their title aspirations alive.
It seems likely that Brighton loanee Shane Duffy will return to the side alongside Kristoffer Ajer at centre-back, so Lennon will be hoping those two can keep out the dangerous Rangers attackers, with the likes of Alfredo Morelos, Kemar Roofe and right-back James Tavernier having been amongst the goals so far this season.
And, in other news… Lennon must unleash “very, very dangerous” 12 goal-gem on Saturday