Ivanovic, Boyata eye St Petersburg decider

CELTIC and Zenit Saint Petersburg are both almost certain to be without their first pick central defender in Thursday night’s Europa League first leg tie at Celtic Park.

Lisbon Lion Jim Craig, writing exclusively on The Celtic Star this morning (and indeed EVERY morning), mentioned the anticipation that the Celtic players will be feeling ahead of this big match. There is nothing quite like playing at Celtic Park on the big European nights.

But for Celtic’s Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata and Zenit’s Serbian captain Bratislava Ivanovic it looks like Thursday will be a night of personal frustration as they are forced to watch the game from the stand.

The 33-year-old former Chelsea star suffered an eye injury a few weeks ago and has been desperate to be back for the match at Celtic Park.

The Russian club put Ivanovic through a special training sessions last week with doctors monitoring him..

Now it has emerged that the doctors are not happy and are unlikely to give him the green light to return to action on Thursday night.

Ivanovic was missing for Zenit’s final warm-up match against Maribor in Antalya, where the impressive Russian side won 3-1. However the loss of Ivanovic’s influence at the back will be a real blow for Roberto Mancini’s side.

The Zenit boss Roberto Mancini explained the situation regarding Ivanovic’s eye injury yesterday.

“He must undergo a physical examination.

“He must meet with a doctor and then we can say when Ivanovic returns to the squad and when the period of recovery will finally end.

“All we can do is rejoice at the fact that, fortunately, we do not have other serious injuries.”

The player admitted earlier in the week that he was doubtful for the game in Glasgow.

“I hope I will be fit again very soon. I’ve started training with the team. We will see if I am ready for Thursday,” Ivanovic stated.

“It was an eye injury. They saw something in my eyes and I had to get it checked out.”

Dedryck Boyata, who suffered a groin injury at Kilmarnock ten days ago is likely to miss both legs of the tie but could just about make the trip to St Petersburg. Last night The Celtic Star asked who would play alongside Kristoffer Ajer in Celtic’s central defence against Zenit – you can read that HERE.


This week, Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham are joined by Inspiral Carpets’ Clint Boon, who wrote a classic song that will forever be associated with the club’s invincible treble-winning campaign – ‘This is How it Feels’.

Crafted by Clint in the late eighties, ‘This is How it Feels’ became one of Inspiral Carpets’ biggest hits upon its release in 1990. This song became a Madchester classic, and renditions have previously rang out at the city’s Old Trafford and Main Road stadiums. Now, in homage to Brendan Rodgers’ quest to lead Celtic to ten consecutive league titles in-a-row, the tune has travelled to Glasgow for a reworking by those renowned tunesmiths, The Green Brigade.

But what does Clint Boon think of Celtic’s version of his melancholic slab of genius? The Oldham-born psychedelic organ-grinder joins A Celtic State of Mind to chat about ‘This is How it Feels’, Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, Noel Gallagher, Lee Mavers, Morrissey, Mark E Smith and more in Episode 34 of The Celtic Star podcast.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

Comments are closed.