Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers will spring a shock with his starting XI to face Zenit St. Petersburg in the Europa League on Thursday night with midfielder Eboue Kouassi a surprise starter, according to a reliable journalist.
The Scottish Sun’s David Friel has claimed on his personal Twitter account that the former Krasnodar youngster is expected to be handed a “big chance” by Rodgers in a shock move ahead of the game against the Russians.
Celtic team for Zenit yet to be confirmed but expect Eboue Kouassi to feature. Big chance for the 20yo.
— David Friel (@davidfriel81) February 15, 2018
Kouassi has been on the fringes of Rodgers’ side this season and has only managed nine appearances so far this term.
The Ivorian may be thrown in to partner Scott Brown in the Hoops midfield as the look for a positive result against Roberto Mancini’s side in the first leg of their Europa League clash.
The 20-year-old has been handed a number of substitute appearances in recent weeks but the reported decision to start him is a bold choice from Rodgers against a strong Zenit side.
Kouassi was a late substitute in the 3-2 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on Saturday.
Celtic travel to Russia next week in the second leg but will really need to take something from the home leg to stand any chance of making the last 16.
With Zenit still in pre-season, Rodgers will be hoping Mancini’s side tire in their first competitive fixture of 2018.
In other Celtic news, fans have been reacting to news of Nir Bitton’s season-ending injury
Don’t miss out on breaking and exclusive Celtic news by clicking here for our brilliant 24/7 updates on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.