Celtic fans react as Dedryck Boyata is ruled out of Zenit clash

A general view as Celtic fans display a team banner during  the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic will be without centre-back Dedryck Boyata ahead of their Europa League fixture with the Russian giants.

Dedryck Boyata celebrates after Leigh Griffiths of Celtic scores during the William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round match between East Kilbride and Celtic at Excelsior Stadium on February 7,...

You never really know what you are going to get with Dedryck Boyata. Celtic’s Belgian centre-back is capable of dominant defensive displays but a crucial, game-changing howler near seems too far away.

In truth, he creates the sort of worry that Celtic fans really do not need ahead of an already daunting Europa League last-32 clash with Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg next week.

Boyata was one of the poorest performers as Celtic just about stumbled their way into the Europa League by way of one win and five defeats in their Champions League group.

Dedryck Boyata of Celtic reacts following his side's loss following the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and Bayern Muenchen at Celtic Park on October 31, 2017 in...

The 27-year-old featured in five of the six games and made a disastrous mistake in the narrow home defeat to Bayern Munich before starting the 7-1 humiliation away at PSG a few weeks later.

And even though Celtic are a little light at the back right now with Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic suffering blows of late and Erik Sviatchenko on loan in Denmark, it appears much of the Parkhead faithful aren’t exactly concerned by the news that Boyata will miss next Thursday’s first-leg with a groin injury, as reported by the Daily Record.

Roberto Mancini's Zenit have been one of the hottest sides in the Europa League this season, ranking as the tournament’s most prolific side with 17 to their name.

Zenit St Petersburg's coach Roberto Mancini looks on  during  the UEFA Europa League Group L football match between FK Vardar and Zenit Saint-Petersburg at the Filip II Arena in Skopje on...

But, in the eyes of some supporters, Celtic’s chances of keeping them off the scoresheet have been boosted by Boyata’s absence.

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