By Noel Whelan

12th Dec, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Top pundit wowed by two rarely-seen Celtic players, tipped to start v Kilmarnock

Noel Whelan has tipped Celtic fringe players David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro to retain their place in the starting XI against Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United forward claimed Neil Lennon would have been very impressed by their performances in midweek.

Both Turnbull and Sorro made a rare start in their 3-2 win over Lille in their final Europa League group game on Thursday, with Turnbull netting the winner.

Soro made his first start in any competition for Celtic at Parkhead while Turnbull made his European debut against the French side.

Asked by Football Insider whether he was surprised the young pair had not been given more of a chance given recent the Hoops’ recent form, Whelan said: “Sometimes you try and play safe, you go to tried and tested to try and turn things around.

“When it’s a game like Thursday night when there’s nothing really on the line, they were sitting bottom and couldn’t go any higher, sometimes that’s an opportunity to say ‘go on son, go out there and show me what you can do because if they’re not going to win me football matches maybe you can.’

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“He got the response he wanted from the fringe players [Soro and Turnbull], showing the first-teamers this is how you do it, this is the attitude you need to have, this is the effort you need to put in to win a game.

“Now they might have put themselves in the driving seat to start the next game.”

Turnbull, 21, arrived in the summer from Motherwell for a reported £3million fee after a deal last year collapsed late on.

Soro, 22, has been at Parkhead since January but has been limited to just five appearances across all competitions.

In other Celtic news, Alex McLeish has admitted he is not surprised by a reported update on Frimpong leaving Parkhead.