CAMERON CARTER-VICKERS and Carl Starfelt have never played together in a losing Celtic team in the Premiership.

Ange Postecoglou paired the USA World Cup defender and the Swedish international in his defence for the first time when they beat Ross County 3-0 at Parkhead on September 11 2021.

Carter-Vickers, who had agreed a season-long loan from Spurs just before the August deadline, marked his debut for the Hoops with the opening goal.

HIGH AND MIGHTY…Cameron Carter-Vickers clears from Ross County striker Jordan White as Carl Starfelt and Tomoki Iwata look on during the 2-0 win in Dingwall last month.

The partnership was broken just over a year later when both were catting injuries and missed the 2-0 loss to St Mirren in Paisley, the champions’ only league reverse of the campaign. Stephen Welsh and Moritz Jenz deputised that day.

However, with the team on the brink of a glorious treble, Carter-Vickers and Starfelt will not be able to team up again this season with the Southend-born warrior poised to undergo knee surgery.

His absence will open the door for either Yuki Kobayashi or Welsh. It’s likely the left-sided Japanese recruit from Vissel Kobe in January will get the nod from the manager with the naturally right-footed Starfelt moving to the right.

Greg Taylor is a fan of both back-four performers and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Yuki is unbelievable. Especially being on the ball on that left side with the left foot, I think it’ll also help Carl.

ON THE BALL…Celtic’s stylish Japanese central defender Yuki Kobayashi.

“Carl defends unbelievably, but it’s not easy playing the left side when he is right-footed.

“He does outstandingly well even playing out with that, but it gives us good balance with Yuki maybe coming in as a left-footer, so there is definitely more to come from us as a team.”

Kobayashi and Starfelt teamed up last month when Carter-Vickers was rested on the plastic pitch at Rugby Park and the defenders dovetailed well as the visitors beat Kilmarnock 4-1.

An action replay against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday will see Celtic win their second successive title and their 53rd overall.

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