CARL STARFELT, Celtic’s £4.5million recruit from Russian club Rubin Kazan last week, is on the brink of making his debut in the Premiership opener against Haerts at Tynecastle on Saturday night.
The Swedish central defender wasn’t signed in time for the Champions League second round qualifiers against FC Midtjylland, but could be fit and raring to go in Edinburgh.
Ange Postecoglou broke off from his preparations for tomorrow night’s return leg in Denmark with the tie deadlock at 1-1 after last week’s first meeting.
The new Hoops gaffer said: “Carl has started some individual training and we are hoping he joins us at Lennoxtown by the time we get back to Scotland. We will see what his condition is like then but he should be available by the weekend.”
It’s clear Celtic need experience in the heart of their rearguard and the 26-year-old international will offer that against Robbie Neilson’s side.
Stephen Welsh, 21, and 18-year-old Dane Murray were given a torrid time against the experienced and powerful Michail Antionio on Saturday before they were withdrawn 10 minutes into the second-half. The Hoops were on the receiving end of a 6-2 mauling and the defence disintegrated under the onslaught from the Londoners.
Postecoglou, speaking to STV, added: “I’m shying away from focusing on individuals because I feel that for where we are in this moment in time, it’s the collective that’s going to get us the kind of results and performance we need.
“We’re such a young group. You look at our back four, potentially, and there’s not a player over 24 years of age.
“And I would hate to think how many appearances between the four of them.
“I can’t start isolating individuals and trying to analyse their games too deeply because ultimately it’s not going to make a difference to what we’re trying to do now. We’re trying to achieve something and the only way is as a collective.”