Lennon confirms Barkas will be in goal for Celtic’s Ibrox Showdown

Neil Lennon has confirmed that Vasilis Barkas will start on Saturday rather than Conor Hazard. Hazard has played in the last four games but was a somewhat surprising omission from the team sheet for this afternoon’s 3-0 win over Dundee Utd at Celtic Park.

The Celtic manager opted to bring back his £4.5m summer signing from AEK Athens for today’s final match of 2020 and clearly he had the match at Ibrox on his mind when making that call.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Journalist Alison Conroy has just tweeted from the post match media briefing and confirms that Barkas will play at Ibrox, tweeting:

Neil Lennon says Barkas will be in goal for Celtic at Ibrox: “He’s come in as number 1 & I want him to play. I think Conor has done very well but he’s still very fledgling in his career & it’d be a big call to put him in a game of this magnitude”

Barkas didn’t have much to do against Dundee Utd today although he has Christopher Jullien’s bravery to thank for keeping a clean sheet. The French defender brilliantly cleared a goal-bound effort from McNulty but ended up colliding with the goalpost and seemingly suffering a bad injury to his left knee.

Jullien was stretched off after several minutes of treatment from concerned medical staff and was replaced by Nir Bitton, with Shane Duffy overlooked. It would appear that Jullien will be missing on Saturday but Bitton is likely to start.

“It was very good. I thought the atmosphere was good going into the game. We are playing with a lot of energy. Clean sheet again and good goals, I’m delighted,” Lennon said after the game. On Soro who scored a magnificent opener, the Celtic manager had this to say: “He played brilliantly. I thought he passed the ball really crisply. It means a lot to him to get his first goal. I’m really pleased with his contribution.”

On Jullien’s injury Lennon said this: “He’s being assessed. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he’ll be ok for Saturday.”

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

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