Pundit Exclusive: Celtic 24-yr-old tipped to fill Ryan Christie void v Rangers
Alan Hutton has tipped Olivier Ntcham to start for Celtic against Rangers after Ryan Christie was ruled out of Saturday’s clash.
The former Rangers and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the Frenchman will get the nod from Neil Neil Lennon ahead of David Turnbull for the first derby day of the season.
Christie has been ruled out of Saturday’s game after being forced to undertake a period of self-isolation following Stuart Armstrong’s positive Covid-19 test.
He has been joined by Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed on the sidelines after the Israeli pair both tested positive.
Hutton believes that Ntcham’s experience of playing against Rangers in the past will see him fill the void left by Christie in the attacking midfield role.
“The likes of Ntcham have done that before, he’s come in and done well, I think he’s always done well against Rangers,” Hutton told Football Insider.
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“He’s been there and done it before. For Turnbull, it might be a bit early – look he’s played against Rangers lots of times but I’m talking about from new surroundings, an Old Firm game, it’s a lot to take on board, especially with the emotion running high.
“It’s a high-pressure game and I just think Ntcham’s been there and done it before and done well. He’s probably one of the frontrunners for that position. Neil Lennon’s got options, it’s not ideal but he has got options there.”
Both Ntcham and Turnbull started the Hoops’ last game before the international break as the likes of Christie and Scott Brown were rested against St Johnstone.
The French midfielder has played in all 13 of Celtic’s games this season, although he has only started seven of those.
In other Celtic news, Frank McAvennie has revealed what he has been told about new Parkhead signing.