Ange Postecoglou confirms Celtic will recall Anthony Ralston for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Real Betis, but Callum McGregor and Liel Abada will miss out, via the Daily Record.
Ralston missed Saturday’s 3-0 win over Ross County with a niggling injury after a strong start to the season. The 22-year-old had started each of his 11 prior appearances across all competitions, and had scored twice and assisted once.
Postecoglou had also trusted the Glasgow-born defender to play each minute of his tenure at Parkhead thus far. He will now look to add to his record at the Benito Villamarin Stadium when the Hoops visit Manuel Pellegrini’s side to open their Group Stage efforts.
But Postecoglou will be without both McGregor and Abada in Seville, as Celtic kick off their European tour proper. Hoops captain McGregor is suffering with a knock that will end his ever-present role this season. While Abada will miss his third game since a £3.5m transfer.
“Cal’s got a bit of a knock, so he’ll miss out,” Postecoglou said. “It’s not great for us, because he’s obviously a very influential player for us.
“Anthony Ralston is back, so we’ll get him back involved. Liel Abada will miss out because of Yom Kippur which is, obviously, a significant religious day for him.”
Postecoglou gets new Celtic challenge with McGregor absence
Postecoglou will endure a new challenge when Celtic face Real Betis with McGregor absent, along with Abada although Ralston returns. The Australian tactician is yet to tackle a competitive game without McGregor featuring since taking charge at Parkhead.
The 37-cap Scotland international has played almost every minute of Postecoglou’s tenure so far. McGregor has only missed 51 of a possible 1,110 in all competitions over 12 games.
Ralston returning to training earlier this week and being available to face Real Betis will come as a big boost. Postecoglou lauded the right-back after last month’s Europa League play-off first-leg win over AZ Alkmaar. Noting, via BT: “Ralston was just unbelievable.”