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Postecoglou: Celtic have options to cover Starfelt injury

The Swedish defender will miss the Europa League clash with Ferencvaros.

Postecoglou: Celtic have options to cover Starfelt injury SNS Group

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has revealed the team will be without defender Carl Starfelt when they face Ferencvaros on Thursday evening.

The Swedish defender has been almost ever-present since joining from Rubin Kazan in the summer but was forced off the field agaisnt Livingston on Saturday after suffering a hamstring injury.

That rules the centre-back out of Thursday’s Europa League match as well as the Premiership meeting with Dundee this weekend.

“We lost Carl Starfelt in the last game and it’s a similar sort of timeline to Tommy Rogic, I suppose,” Postecoglou said. “We are hoping he will be back after the international break, but he will definitely miss these two games.

“It is always a blow when you lose players to injury. To be fair to Carl, he has played every game since he got here and it’s not surprising that he has something like this happen.

“We would have loved to have rotated him earlier, but we tried to build some cohesion, consistency in the back four and we didn’t want to chop and change too much because we had to at the start of the season.” 

Starfelt’s injury means a decision will have to be made about who partners Cameron Carter-Vickers at the back but Postecoglou says he has players that can step in, with Stephen Welsh and Nir Bitton prime candidates.

“We have options,” the Celtic boss said. “Welshy has been raring to go and has been unfortunate not to get an opportunity to play, because whenever he has played he has been very good for us and Nir can slip back there as well so there are options.”

The Australian is now preparing to face a Ferencvaros side who need victory to have any hopes of European success this season after losing 2-0 at Parkhead but Postecoglou doesn’t think that will necessarily mean they offer an open game.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of suiting us, I think it’s another good challenge for us,” he said. “They are a very good team and we knew that before.

“We had to play really well to get on top of them because we watched them against Leverkusen and Betis and they’re a fantastic team with really good players.

“From our perspective it’s about trying to repeat the levels we showed last time against them, knowing that we face a good team with their crowd behind them.

“They have to try and win so we expect them to put us under pressure. They’re thing’s we’ve got to cope with but it’s a fantastic challenge for us as a team.”