We are just hours away from the first Cup final clash between Celtic and Rangers since 2011. The results of this game will surely have some effect on the tight title race. Celtic currently have opened up a two-point gap after the latest round of fixtures. What’s more credible is that Celtic have gone through a significant injury crisis and yet, they have managed 11 wins on the bounce in all competitions. However, form goes out of the window in a one-off knock out tie.
Lennon also has some good news coming his way as he recently confirmed that Southampton winger Mohamed Elyounoussi is fit enough to take part in the final. Moreover, the manager even went on to indicate that the Norwegian winger could also be handed a start.
Lennon’s update on Elyounoussi
The Celtic boss said (Herald Scotland), ”He’s a naturally very fit lad. His injury was more of a stress injury. There was no fracture there. We had to rest it because the more he played, the more it deteriorated and it could have turned into a fracture. And that was the one thing we wanted to avoid.
“He has trained the last three or four days, and he has been working with the physios and fitness boys all week. If he is fit and available, he has got a good chance to play.”
Should Lennon start Elyounoussi?
The winger hasn’t been a part of the matchday squads in the last few weeks, and we believe that he shouldn’t be thrown into such a big game from the start. Instead, Lennon should rely on Michael Johnston to start from the left flank who has looked sharp in recent cameos.
Johnston scored off the bench twice in the last three fixtures and even against Hamilton, he would have had his goal only to be denied by the post. His movement, pace and ability to stretch play can trouble Rangers as they don’t have much pace among their ranks in defence. The left-wing spot could be crucial as James Tavernier who plays as the right-back for Rangers has looked vulnerable in the last month or so and someone like Johnston can really trouble him as he likes to take defenders on in one on one situations.
Elyounoussi has shown good form so far, and he also has goals and assists to back his claim to start in the final. However, he has been out with injury for some time now, and Johnston has looked extremely confident in his last three cameos.
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