The Champions League qualification process always seems to be fraught with danger for Celtic, and it doesn’t look to be any different this season.
This season’s quest to qualify is made even more perilous by two things: the addition of another qualifying round, and the fact that the Hoops will have some key men at the World Cup by the time qualification begins.
The Hoops should be able to navigate the extra round no problem, but the loss of Mikael Lustig, Tom Rogic and Dedryck Boyata is certainly an issue.
Brendan Rodgers really does have to make some additions to his squad very soon, to cope with the loss of Boyata in particular.
The likes of Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry – not to mention Marvin Compper – just aren’t good enough to be thrown into the deep end of the qualifiers.
It is vital that an extra centre-half is brought in to partner Kristoffer Ajer.
At right-back, only Anthony Ralston will be available, and he has been in and out of the manager’s plans then away on-loan to Dundee United.
He could perhaps do the job until Lustig returns, it’s better than playing the out-of-position Hendry there.
The Hoops have had some close calls in the Champions League qualifiers under Rodgers – look at the result against Red Imps, not to mention the titanic struggles against Rosenborg and Astana.
Thinks can’t be left to chance, there is too much money at stake, and as soon as Boyata’s participation in the World Cup was confirmed the Hoops should have been on the look-out for a new centre-back.
It remains to be seen if any new additions will be brought in, or the Hoops will once more gamble at the biggest club stage of them all.
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