Callum McGregor must be given starting Celtic berth against Zenit

Celtic's Scottish midfielder Callum McGregor attends a press conference following a training session at the Celtic Training Centre in Lennoxtown, Scotland on December 4, 2017, on the eve...

Celtic face Zenit on Thursday night in the Europa League.

Celtic's Scottish midfielder Callum McGregor attends a press conference following a training session at the Celtic Training Centre in Lennoxtown, Scotland on December 4, 2017, on the eve...

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is down to the bare bones in central midfielder after losing Stuart Armstrong and Nir Bitton to injury, while Tom Rogic is unlikely to start against Zenit St. Petersburg on Thursday night.

The Hoops play host to Roberto Mancini's side at Celtic Park in a match they will be desperate to win in order to give them an advantage when it comes to travelling to Russia next week for the second leg.

Rodgers will also be without Craig Gordon, Anthony Ralston, Marvin Compper, Dedryck Boyata, Paddy Roberts, Jonny Hayes and Leigh Griffiths, in what will be a tough task to beat Zenit.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers arrives at the stadium prior to the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ranger at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

He needs to go on the attack in order to gain an advantage ahead of next week's clash, and give the Hoops something to defend. That means playing a system in which he can incorporate as many attacking players as reasonably possible.

Chelsea loanee Charly Musonda has been used in the number 10 role of late, but the young Belgian is yet to make his senior bow in European football. He has only played in the UEFA Youth League, throughout his career.

That inexperience should see Rodgers drop the former Real Betis loanee, and instead recall Callum McGregor to play in attacking midfield ahead of the likes of Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham.

The academy product has been left out of the starting line-up for the last three matches, getting just 25 minutes against Partick on Saturday and will be fresher than Musonda.

Callum McGregor of Celtic is tackled by Peter Hartley of Motherwell during the Betfred League Cup Final between Celtic and Motherwell at Hampden Park on November 26, 2017 in Glasgow,...

McGregor has shown both an eye for goal and the ability to create an assist this season, scoring seven goals and adding another eight in assists. One of his strikes cam against Bayern Munich.

The 24-year-old left-footer has much bigger experience in European football than Musonda, playing 30 times in either the Champions League or the Europa League.

Rodgers has a decision to make. With Rogic and Armstrong out, he must choose between Musonda and McGregor, but the latter should be given a chance to put Zenit to the sword.

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