The one positive for the defence during the international break is that Kieran Tierney was allowed home to rest, instead of facing Portugal at the weekend. Celtic players involved with their youth or full national teams have faced two games a week pretty much since June. A consequence of this has been no opportunity to work on their base fitness and practically no time at Lennoxtown to work on set plays.
International friendlies continue until tomorrow, meaning Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig will not return to Lennoxtown until Thursday. Both are expected to play for their national teams. Dedryck has been crucial for Celtic since coming back into the side in September, while Mikael cannot afford to think about burnout. He needs to perform twice a week, every week, no matter the energy levels. Has this had an effect on his performances? You have to expect so.
We have two games per week until the next international break. I would consider resting Mikael for the trips to Dundee and Livingston. I would also consider substituting two defenders, if the score-line allows.