By Alex McLeish

24th Sep, 2021 | 10:33am

Starfelt among Celtic trio facing the axe after news update - McLeish

Alex McLeish has claimed the current Celtic centre-backs are set to come under serious pressure as Christopher Jullien closes in on a comeback from injury.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the likes of Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Stephen Welsh need to up their game.

As quoted by the Daily Record (22nd September), Ange Postecoglou revealed he expects Jullien to return to the squad after October’s international break.

The centre-back has been out of action since suffering a serious knee injury back in December 2020.

Celtic had a shakeup at the heart of the defence this summer.

The Bhoys signed Starfelt and Carter-Vickers, while Kristoffer Ajer was sold to Brentford

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Academy product Welsh has also been given regular game time this term.

However, McLeish suggested the trio would have to up their standards with Jullien’s comeback around the corner.

“Jullien will definitely put them under pressure, there’s no doubt about it,” McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“The manager will be, I think, delighted to get him back because they have to be at his kind of level.

The level he showed before the injury was a high one. Maybe when Jullien comes back and amongst them and joins in training, I always think better players and more experienced players inspire the others.

“They may be looking at him in training, seeing him in games saying: ‘I should be doing that. I have to get to that standard.'”

Jullien, 28, was part of the treble-winning squad from the 2019/20 campaign.

He has played a total of 61 times for Celtic to date.

In other news, Celtic and Rangers blasted by pundit as “childish” feud takes “strange” twist.