Exclusive: McNamara claims defender could make first Celtic start v Hamilton


Jackie McNamara has tipped Celtic defender Moritz Bauer to make his first start for the club after a number of injury problems for Neil Lennon.

The former Hoops and Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 27-year-old put in a solid performance against Rangers before the international break and that he could come in on the right-hand side of the defence on Saturday.

As revealed by Football Insider, the Hoops could be missing as many as six first-team players on their return to domestic action, with a number of defenders out through injury.

McNamara says that with the likes of Kristoffer Ajer, Jozo Simunovic and makeshift centre-back Nir Bitton all potentially out, Bauer could be in line to make his first start and second appearance for the Bhoys.

McNamara told Football Insider: “Bitton looks like he’s done his hamstring in the last game, that’s why it’s important to have a squad. The problems they had at Ibrox they still seemed to cope with it. The full-back goes off and Bauer comes on.

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(Could Bauer get his first start?) Yeah, I thought he was steady enough, he’s definitely one of those players who could handle it. 

“He cost a decent price tag when he signed for Stoke, he’s not been brought in there just to sit and watch, he needs to play. Why not?”

Bauer signed for the Hoops on loan from English Championship side Stoke over the summer and made his debut in the win over Rangers at Ibrox, featuring for 24 minutes as a substitute.

He has struggled for game time with the Potters, playing just eight times in England’s second-tier last season, although he does have 15 Premier League and six international appearances under his belt.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that a rarely-seen Hoops player is set for a major role after Lennon blown away in training.