The International breaks have brought Celtic little or no luck this season. We’ve had Odsonne Edouard catching Covid-19 while away with the French Under 21s, Ryan Christie having to self isolate after being named as a close contact by former Celt Stuart Armstong, resulting in the midfielder having to sit out the Glasgow Derby at the end of October and the two Israeli Celts – Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed both catching coronavirus while away with their national side for a match at Hampden against Scotland.
The latest blow once again involves Nir Bitton, who sat out last night’s 2-0 World Cup opener defeat to Denmark, and has now been sent back to Celtic having picked up another injury. Bitton has been out since the defeat against St Mirren at Celtic Park back in January but returned at the weekend and was an un-used substitute in the 1-1 draw with theRangers.
But now the 29 year old has picked up a groin tear injury while training with his national side and will now not be available for the visit of Scotland (again) on Sunday as both sides look for their first win of the campaign. Scotland twice came back from a goal down at home to Austria last night but were denied a stonewall penalty when Celtic Star Ryan Christie was wrestled to the ground in clear view of the referee.
An Israeli FA statement says: “Nir Bitton was injured in the concluding training session and was not included in the squad against Denmark.
“He has suffered a small tear in his groin, was released from the squad and will not play against Scotland and Moldova.”
Incidentally Israel had 5000 supporters at yesterday’s game against Denmark and they will be back on Sunday for Scotland’s latest visit to their Bloomfield Stadium. And their star man Eran Zahavi – who has previously scored twice against Scotland – has warned Steve Clarke’s side the Israelis are desperate to get their World Cup campaign back on track by securing another home win over the Scots.
“We know Scotland very well because we have played against them many times and we know to expect a difficult game,” the PSV Eindhoven star said, as reported by Scottish Sun. “I think we gave Denmark too much respect and we won’t make the same mistake against the Scots.
“I accept there is a difference in quality between us and Denmark, but I thought we looked a bit afraid against them. It’s absolutely vital we get the win against Scotland now.”
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