Paulo Bernardo’s big chance to shine at Celtic

Time for Paulo to shine in Reo’s absence…

 Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

It was a  big blow learning that Reo Hatate will miss the next few games at least due to the hamstring injury which seen him hobble off on Wednesday night. Brendan Rodgers described it as a bad one at his media conference yesterday afternoon then reckoned that the Japan international midfielder would be out for a couple of weeks. That seems optimistic in the extreme and it’s more like going to be a month or even two before we see Reo back playing in the Hoops.

It is however a chance for someone to shine in his absence and it’s a chance for a number of players such as Tomoki Iwata, David Turnbull, Odin Thiago Holm and of course Paulo Bernardo.

My money is on Paulo Bernardo getting the nod today from Brendan Rodgers as Celtic take on Hibs at Easter Road. The on-loan Benfica man has all the attributes to fill Reo’s boots as he proved on Wednesday night, playing for most of the game at that level having had very few minutes so far this season.

For me despite a promising start to the season, David Turnbull doesn’t look to be in Brendan’s plans. Tomoki Iwata is more of a player Brendan sees as the guy you bring on to close out a game.

As for young Holm, I think he has a great future at the club and Brendan rates him, but I think he’s more similar to Calmac in playing style so for me I think it’s Paulo who will be the one to be given the big chance to shine.

The Portuguese is a strong midfielder who does the dirty work, and while perhaps not as technically gifted as Reo Hatate, he is still elegant on the ball.  So for me I think he’s the man to deputise in Reo’s absence. This will be a big chance for him and he should be looking to grab it.

Of course it might not be him, but the fact Brendan trusted him over others to come on in Reo’s place so early on against Atletico speaks volumes. Odin Thiago Holm, who was sent off in Rotterdam, then suspended for the Lazio game, didn’t even make the bench on Wednesday evening against Atletico Madrid. So it’s hard to see him pushing ahead of Bernardo in today’s starting XI.

So what will the Celtic team be today? It was the same team that destroyed Hearts last weekend than started in midweek. We know that Reo Hatate is out with Paulo Bernado my tip to start. And Brendan yesterday suggested that there could be a few more changes today..

Here’s how I think Celtic will line-up.

Hart, Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Bernardo, O’Riley; Forrest, Kyogo, Palma. 


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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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