Rogic and Musonda on bench, Armstrong’s ready but Calmac likely to start

TOM ROGIC will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky as he seeks to return to action for Celtic.

The Australian talisman was all set to make his return on Saturday against Partick Thistle. Stripped and ready for action as the third Celtic substitute of the day, Brendan Rodgers was simply waiting for the next break in play to bring on the man whose wonder goal completed the Invincible treble by winning the Scottish Cup last May.

However slackness in the Celtic defence, for the second time that day, gifted Thistle a second goal of the afternoon and Rodgers had to revise his substitution plans. Later the manager apologised to Rogic as we reported yesterday. Eboue Kouassi came on instead.

After missing out against Thistle on Saturday, Rogic’s frustration was doubled when yesterday it emerged that he was to be deprived of the opportunity to play in the Celtic Development side’s match due to the adverse weather.

This leaves Brendan Rodgers with a selection headache as Zenit touchdown in Glasgow this week for the Europa League first leg.

Now, the Russians are on the horizon and Celtic must decide whether to risk Rogic’s fitness and the side’s chances of progression. The 25-year-old played in all of Celtic’s six Champions League matches before succumbing to the injury against Anderlecht that has ruled him out until now.

Rogic has appeared in 26 matches for Celtic since their Champions League opener against Linfield in July and his creative spark has been missed in recent weeks.

With a pass completion rate of 77%, 3 assists and 4 goals, Rogic is an asset from the midfield and Celtic will need him in the coming weeks as they look to chase the League and Scottish Cup. It is therefore unlikely that Rogic will start on Thursday as the coaching staff will be wary of rushing the midfielder back and risking a set-back.

However, another factor at play is Charly Musonda’s performance on Saturday against Thistle.

The 21-year-old was anonymous for large parts playing in that No. 10 role behind Moussa Dembele and this will further Rodgers’ headache.

With just two appearances since arriving from Chelsea, Musonda is attempting to adjust to his new club and grab the accolades that led to the much coveted star being signed.

On the evidence of his first two starts, there is little there to suggest that Brendan Rodgers will play Musonda in his starting eleven.

So with Rogic and Musonda likely to be on the bench, and Stuart Armstrong winning his race to be fit after his hernia operation in Germany last month, it looks like it will be a straight choice between him and the player who is always there, Callum McGregor.

Don’t be surprised if Calmac starts…


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

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