With Celtic’s trip to Dubai and the winter break winding down, the Hoops must prepare for their return to domestic football, beginning with the Scottish Cup tie against Brechin on Saturday.
Who Brendan Rodgers chooses to be his centre-halves in that game and going forward for the rest of the season is perhaps the biggest challenge the Hoops boss faces, purely down to the wealth of options.
After the 4-0 loss to Hearts which saw the end of the Bhoys’ undefeated domestic run, Rodgers completely removed Jozo Simunovic from the first-team, replacing him with 19-year-old Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer.
Ajer and Dedryck Boyata have formed a fine partnership, as the Hoops have kept five clean sheets since the defeat at Tynecastle.
The situation has been complicated however by the arrival of new centre-back Marvin Compper. The 32-year-old would seem to have been signed as a first-choice regular, even though he isn’t eligible for the Europa League clash against Zenit in February.
It seems likely that in domestic terms for the forseeable future the partnership will be Boyata and Compper, with Ajer in for the Europa League.
There seems to be no way back for Jozo Simunovic, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him sold, and whilst Erik Sviatchenko looks for a new club Nir Bitton can always be called upon in an emergency.
If Brendan Rodgers is able to sort out this situation quickly then the Hoops could have a very successful second-half of the season.
In other Celtic news, Rodgers has been outlining what he looks for in new signings
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