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Celtic must unleash Liam Scales vs Livingston

The emotions which will be flooding through Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou’s mind right now after their Thursday defeat must be overwhelming.

In the build-up to that match, the Hoops suffered the frustration of a number of injuries to first-team players but then they took a surprising 2-0 lead against Real Betis.

What followed was more disaster, however, as they eventually lost 4-3 in a dramatic encounter in Spain.

On the chalkboard

Celtic’s attacking play in the Europa League a few days ago was scintillating and mightily exciting. Albian Ajeti has found rare touch in front of goal and Jota looks like a marvellous capture after his impressive creative performance.

However, from a defensive perspective, the Bhoys were extremely dismal. They were left ball-watching on a regular basis and failed to clear their lines all too often as Betis simply coasted past them.

One of the players at fault, despite his late goal, was Anthony Ralston.

The full-back has been in good touch this term with three strikes to his name after making a first-team breakthrough but this was a performance to forget.

Should Ralston be dropped?

No way!

No way!

Yes please!

Yes please!

He didn’t clear the ball for the opening goal and was then passed all too easily by Sergio Canales when their Spanish opposition found the net with a third.

Ralston’s work ethic is unquestionable, but on a night where Postecoglou needed his most reliable men to star, he was disappointing.

The solution

As a consequence, we think that the manager should move Josip Juranovic into his favoured role at right-back against Livingston on Sunday afternoon.

He looks extremely limited on the left-hand side, and with Greg Taylor set to undergo shoulder surgery, we hope that Liam Scales is finally unleashed.

The Irishman signed for Celtic late in the transfer window and is yet to earn a single minute of action since arriving from Shamrock Rovers.

However, he boasts phenomenal versatility and can play on the left wing, as well in his more favoured roles as a centre-back or left-back.

It’s in that final position that he must play this weekend.

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Standing at 6 foot 2, he is a colossal figure for a full-back and should provide the Hoops with more physicality and a bigger presence in that third of the pitch.

Incredibly adept defensively, Celtic wouldn’t lose any of their attacking threat by playing Scales either.

A review from Collie O’Neill, his former manager at UCD paints a vivid picture of his qualities. He said: “Liam likes to get forward. It’s not often you have guys on the wing who are tall and attacking, but when he gets going into his stride, he’s quick and strong. He can just whip past people.

“So, for me, left back would be his best position. Attacking strength is the one thing he’s very good at.”

By moving Juranovic to the right, it provides Celtic with more quality, but vitally, the addition of Scales on the left would give the team increased balance compared to their defensive horror show in midweek.

AND in other news, Desmond could land dream McKay successor at Celtic in “respected” 58 y/o CEO…

Article title: Celtic must unleash Liam Scales vs Livingston

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