There should be no surprise that Vakoun Issouf Bayo was omitted from Celtic’s Europa League squad. He has not played for over two months and will be well short of fitness when Valencia arrive in Glasgow. Even when he is fit enough to play, expectations should be tempered while he adjusts to live in Scotland.
It is more important that Jeremy Toljan is fit. For that, Brendan Rodgers will be grateful for games this week against Hibernian and (of course) St Johnstone.
I hoped we would see Leigh Griffiths back by now, only a few days short of also not playing for two months. Leigh has trained alone throughout this period, but will be well short of match fitness when he returns to the first team squad.
Valencia loom on the near horizon, but this week has a pivotal feel to it. Two home wins on those games against Hibs and St Johnstone will see us with at least a six point lead in the league and a place in the Scottish Cup quarter final. Valencia has the glamour and the money, but I could make a case that the other two games are more important.