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THE EDOUARD ENIGMA

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ODSONNE EDOUARD will have to wait and see if he gets the nod to lead the Celtic attack against Hibs at Parkhead on Sunday afternoon.

Last season’s 28-goal leading scorer was hooked for the second successive game during the hard-fought 1-0 win over FC Riga in Latvia last night that set up a Europa League play-off against Sarajevo in Bosnia on Thursday.

Edouard was replaced eight minutes from the end of a frustrating performance by Mohamed Elyououssi and the Norwegian international sealed the Hoops’ triumph when he rifled in the only goal in the fading moments after great service from fellow-substitute Jeremie Frimpong.

The French frontman, who missed a penalty-kick in the 2-1 Premiership victory over St Mirren in Paisley the previous week before again being withdrawn, has been at the centre of intense transfer speculation throughout the summer.

Neil Lennon even gave him time off when he rested the £9million man for the 3-2 win over Livingston at the weekend.

SPOT OFF…Odsonne Edouard, watched by referee John Beaton, misses his penalty-kick against St Mirren last week.

However, Edouard still looked cumbersome and tired against the Latvians and his touch was off for most of the evening. He appeared to lack energy and penetration and toiled for the minutes he was on the pitch.

Elyounoussi and Albian Ajeti, who came on for Oliver Ntcham in the 72nd minute, gave the team more urgency up front as they overcame a tricky hurdle.

Lennon looked at the Edouard situation and, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “He’ (Edouard) has looked fresh enough in training, but he looked a little bit off the pace. Maybe he just needed a run-out to get him up to speed.

“We’ll see how he is for the weekend. He’s fine, there are no injury issues with him at all.”

The alarming drop in form of Edouard, who still has two years to run on his present contract, will be a worry for the Hoops manager.

On the form displayed against St Mirren and FC Riga in back-to-back outings, the player who is known as the club’s talisman may not be an automatic first pick for the visit of the Easter Road side on Sunday.

LAST-GASP ELYOUNOUSSI IS EURO HERO

 
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