Exclusive: McNamara claims AIK display will make or break Celtic giant's chances v Rangers


Jackie McNamara claims that Celtic’s clash with AIK will make or break Craig Gordon’s chances of playing in Sunday’s derby day clash with Rangers.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Hoops and Scotland star says that manager Neil Lennon has a dilemma on his hands when it comes to the club’s goalkeeping options, Fraser Forster having returned on loan to give him three senior options between the sticks.

With Scott Bain out injured and Forster, who took the gloves against Hearts, not registered for Europe, Gordon is set to return to the starting XI against the Swedish side.

With a derby day at Ibrox on the immediate horizon, McNamara claims that Thursday’s trip to Sweden could determine whether 36-year-old Gordon can keep his place or face the axe.

McNamara told Football Insider: “It’s a hard one to call, Neil’s got a tough job. Does he want one for Thursday and one for Sunday for the Rangers game?

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“If he keeps Gordon in tonight, it’s a very difficult one to call. I think he might start with Gordon tonight and change that for Sunday but you never know. If he’s doing well, the defending and clean sheets, he might want to keep that.”

Bain started the season as Lennon’s first choice between the sticks, Gordon being handed just one appearance prior to his fellow Scotland international picking up an injury.

The giant keeper, who stands just short of 6ft 4in (Transfermarkt), has a total of three outings this term, having played in the Champions League qualifiers, the Europa League qualifiers and the Scottish League Cup.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider can reveal that the Hoops are in pole position to sign a much-wanted defender from an English side.