The Rangers v Celtic – Why there is no need to risk Lustig or Tierney

THE reports this morning that both Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney are likely to be available for Sunday’s trip to Govan is of course positive but is it really worth risking either full-back in this match which is really just about bragging rights?

Lustig pulled up in the 90th minute at Pittodrie after scoring the all-important opener that sent Celtic on our way to an 8IAR party in the North East. Has anyone asked him about those celebrations yet – was he telling the ‘His Legs are Gone’ element in the support to cut it out? He’d have every right.

The same goes with Emilio Izaguirre. Like Lustig he’s been a tremendous servant to Celtic over most of the 8 in a Row years – he had a season in the Middle East after running into problems with a dodgy agent – before coming back as understudy to KT.

Emilio was quoted in the Daily Record from an article from a Honduran media source, saying that he’d been offered a new one year deal but was looking for a move to the States as it would be closer to home. Paul the Tim incidentally said that this was actually incorrect and his pal Emilio had confirmed this to him in a text message.

Anyway the response to this story on social media was pretty shocking with loads of Celtic supporters giving a very negative and unfair assessment of Izaguirre’s contribution this season.

Back to Ibrox, surely we would all prefer to have Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney in the starting eleven at Hampden on 25 May against Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final?

Neil Lennon has these two as his first choice full-backs so why risk weakening the starting eleven at Hampden?

Jerry Toljan or Anthony Ralston can play right back and Jonny Hayes or Emilio can play on the left side of the defence on Sunday.

Lustig is in need of a well earned rest. He played in the World Cup last summer and got back as quickly as possible for the qualifiers so he has essentially had two, if not three season all rolling into one. And KT has probably been over-played by Celtic over the past few years. He is going for his double hernia operation after the Cup Final and admitted that it was painful playing with the problem up at Pittodrie.

Yes we all want to win on Sunday but given the choice surely everyone goes with Hampden as the priority?

The team we’ve suggested playing is as follows:

Bain, Toljan, Ajer, Simunovic, Benkovic, Hayes, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Rogic and Edouard.

Pretty confident that team on Sunday could keep a clean sheet and score one or two ourselves. Job done!

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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