'Going to be a blow' - McNamara tips rarely-seen Celtic duo to battle for start v Hamilton


Jackie McNamara has tipped rarely-seen Celtic wingers Mohamed Elyounoussi and Scott Sinclair to be battling it out for a starting role against Hamilton on Saturday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Hoops and Scotland defender says that the absence of Mikey Johnston through injury will open the door to some of the players on the fringes of Neil Lennon’s squad.

Johnston confirmed that he would miss Saturday’s game thanks to a groin strain, the 20-year-old having established himself as a mainstay at Parkhead this season.

With Marian Shved joining Johnston on the sidelines through injury, McNamara says it could be a battle between two players who have rarely played recently for a starting role on the wing.

Speaking of who might take the winger’s place, McNamara told Football Insider: “It’s going to be a blow for the lad because he’s had a good start to the season. Celtic have brought other players in, more than enough players to cope without Mikey.

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“Whether the lad makes his debut from Southampton or Sinclair. We’ve not seen the lad from Southampton, or seen much of Shved – he’s got plenty of options.

“Obviously we’ve got to check if he (Elyounoussi) is fit and ready to be in the squad.”

Elyounoussi has not played a competitive club game since featuring for Southampton back in May – his first and only appearance since February – while Sinclair has managed to feature four times from a possible 13 games this season.

The English wideman has been left out of the matchday squad for the last two Premiership games, totalling just 11 minutes of action in the Scottish top flight this season.

In other Celtic news, McNamara has told Football Insider that a Hoops defender could make his first start for the club on Saturday.