Alexandro Bernabei may well be given another opportunity to impress on Saturday afternoon when Celtic take on Hibs at Celtic Park looking for the three points as Ange Postecoglou’s side continues its relentless drive towards retaining the Scottish Premiership title.
The Argentinian left-back started against Hearts in the league match last midweek alongside Anthony Ralston at right back as Ange Postecoglou appeared to rest his regular first pick full-backs Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor ahead of the second meeting with Hearts in four days, at Tynecastle on Saturday on the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.
Both Taylor and Johnston duly returned for the cup-tie and it’s fair to say that both Ralston and Bernabei’s lack of recent match-day action was apparent although both contributed to the Celtic goals and put in reasonably good performances given the circumstances.
This week Greg Taylor was a surprise omission from the Scotland squad for the upcoming Euro qualifiers against Cyprus and Spain and that put national team manager Steve Clark, who worked with Taylor while the pair were at Kilmarnock, in a slightly awkward position, that as it turns, out was not of his making.
Clark yesterday clarified the reason why Greg Taylor has not been included in the Scotland squad. “I have had a chat with Greg. It is really a Celtic issue, more than for me to comment on. He is carrying a little injury,” the Scotland manager revealed, as reported by Daily Record.
“He will probably benefit from a rest rather than coming away with the national team. Celtic should elaborate on that a little bit.”
That decision to leave Taylor out appears therefore to be at the request of Celtic, working alongside the national team manager and perhaps also explains why Taylor was not even on the bench last midweek against Hearts whereas Alistair Johnston was.
It’s also fair and reasonable to speculate that Ange Postecoglou might prefer to be safe rather than sorry on Saturday as far as Greg Taylor is concerned. This match against Hibs is Celtic’s last one of the month as we fall into the dreaded international break lull in proceedings. It’s going to be tempting for the Celtic manager to rest-up Taylor to give him a few weeks to work with the physios at Lennoxtown to get the player fully fit and injury free for the match against Ross County in Dingwall at the start of April.
And that could open the door for Alexandro Bernabei to get another start and build on his recent performance against Hearts were he seemed to improve as the game went on and had a very decent second half showing.