CELTIC have been rocked by a double blow on the eve of their Europa League Group B encounter against Real Betis in Seville tomorrow night.
Captain Callum McGregor and Israeli winger Liel Abada, two of the Hoops’ in-form players, have been ruled OUT of the crucial opener.
The midfield anchorman, who played for Scotland in the World Cup win over Austria last week, came off in the second-half of the 3-0 victory over Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday.
However, it was thought to be just a precaution before the Euro outing, but Ange Postecoglou has been forced to leave him out for the crucial confrontation as the team chases its first-ever competitive success on Spanish soil.
SIDELINED…Liel Abada will miss out in Seville for religious beliefs.
The Greek-Australian gaffer said: “Cal’s got a bit of a knock, so he’ll miss out. It’s not great for us because he’s obviously a very influential player for us.
“Liel Abada will miss out because of Yom Kippur, which is obviously a significant religious day for him.”
There is better news, though, as Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “Anthony Ralston is back, so we’ll get him back involved.”
The 23-year-old right-back had played every minute of every competitive game this season before injury ruled him out of the Ross County visit at the weekend where Croatia international Josip Juranovic took his place.
Postecoglou is giving no hints about his starting line-up, but he has much to ponder with the forced withdrawal of McGregor and Abada for different reasons.
The captain’s armband was passed from the Scotland midfielder to Tom Rogic against the Dingwall side and the Aussie, in turn, presented it to keeper Joe Hart when he came off before the end.
It will be interesting to see if the 34-year-old former England No.1 gets the honour against Real Betis tomorrow.