By Frank McAvennie

19th Oct, 2020 | 12:30pm

'Celtic should have known' - Exclusive: Whelan drops Edouard claim after Rangers defeat

Celtic stars Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie would not have affected the result against Rangers if they were available, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds United forward, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, insisted that Neil Lennon’s side lost the game as a result of “scruffy, bad mistakes” that will “get punished at any level”.

Edouard, 22, and Christie, 25, both missed the 2-0 loss to Rangers on Saturday as a result of Covid-19 with the former a doubt for Thursday’s Europa League tie against AC Milan.

Christie had to remain in self-isolation despite Scotland teammate Kieran Tierney being allowed to play for Arsenal against Manchester City last weekend, a decision that angered Neil Lennon.

Whelan is adamant that the result would have been the same even if the two attackers were available for selection.

“It is up to the governing bodies to make the decisions,” he told Football Insider.

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“There are different guidelines, hence why it was fine for Arsenal and Tierney but I do not think that Edouard and Christie would have really affected the result.

“When you look at the goals that were scored by Rangers it was down to bad defending. The second was a scruffy goal to give away. They are the mistakes that will get punished at any level.

“Celtic should have known that they would have a tough job on their hands. Rangers are much improved this season.”

The Scottish government released a statement on the matter last week, it read: “Our national guidance in Scotland is clear.

“If you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you will be asked to self-isolate immediately for 14 days.”

In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie tips Hoops to table midfielder a new contract this season.