ANGE POSTECOGLOU admits he is not surprised Carl Starfelt has been forced onto the sidelines.

The £4.2million Swedish international centre-back limped off with a hamstring problem in the second-half of the goalless draw against Livingston at Parkhead on Saturday.

Starfelt has been ruled out of tomorrow night’s Europa League Group G encounter against Ferencvaros in Budapest and the Premiership meeting with Dundee at Dens Park on Sunday.

Stephen Welsh is standing by to get the nod to line up alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers while Nir Bitton could also be in contention to take a step back from midfield.

EURO EXIT…Carl Starfelt will sit out the game in Budapest.

Tom Rogic will also miss out and the Australian international playmaker, like team-mate Starfelt, is eyeing the Premier Sport League Cup semi-final against holders St Johnstone at Hampden on Saturday November 20 as a comeback date.

Postecoglou said: “We lost Carl Starfelt in the last game and similar sort of timeline to Tommy (Rogic), I guess.

“We are hoping he will be back after the international break, but he will definitely miss these two games.

“Everyone else got through the game okay. Obviously. James Forrest got his first run for a while and everyone else has trained well.”

The Greek-Australian gaffer, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “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.

HEADS I WIN…Stephen Welsh shows his power in the air against Hearts defender Craig Halkett.

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

“It would have been great to get him through this spell and give him the international break to recover.

“It’s disappointing to lose him, but we have got options. Stephen Welsh has been raring to go and has been unfortunate not to get another opportunity to play.

“Whenever he has played he has been very good for us, and Nir (Bitton) can slip back in there for us, as well.”

Republic of Ireland double-act James McCarthy and Liam Scales will also be in the stripped squad in the Hungarian capital city and could get some game-time, depending on how the game progresses.


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