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Celtic: Noel Whelan reacts to Callum McGregor’s injury

Celtic: Noel Whelan reacts to Callum McGregor’s injury -Celtic News

Ex-BBC pundit Noel Whelan has claimed losing captain Callum McGregor to injury will be a ‘massive blow’ in the title race for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Lowdown: McGregor’s injury

After just 38 minutes of play in the Hoops’ 3-1 Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig last week, the central midfielder was forced off the pitch with an injury.

As quoted by Sky Sports, Postecoglou subsequently revealed the Scotland international would likely be out for three to four weeks.

“The initial report suggests he’ll probably be out until after the [World Cup] break at this stage.”

The Latest: Whelan gutted

Whelan, a former Scottish top flight striker who then worked as a pundit for BBC Radio, believes McGregor’s absence will come as a massive blow in potentially title-deciding fixtures.

Speaking with Football Insider, the pundit said:

“Injuries to key players are always damaging to a team.

“It is unfortunate because it is such a massive blow for Celtic.

“Again a last-gasp winner just keeps them edging ahead of Rangers but I did think it was going to be a runaway season.

“I always felt that the Old Firm games were going to decide where the title goes and I still believe that.

“I will not change my mind on that because I still believe that it is going to be such a tight fought race that only those games are going to be the difference between where the title goes.

“They are going to have to deal with the fact that they have got an important player out but at the same time this is where someone needs to step up in to some big shoes and fulfil them and take the opportunity.”

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The Verdict: Big loss

In the Premiership this season, the 29-year-old has played a pivotal role in Postecoglou’s midfielder.

As per WhoScored, with an impressive 91.6% pass success rate – the highest such number of any outfield player in the squad – the Scotsman has averaged 1.4 key passes, 1.1 tackles and 1 interception per league game.

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Having played the full 90 in every fixture he’s been available for, the Hoops will miss McGregor’s consistent and experienced presence in the middle of the park.

Without their leader, stand-in captain Cameron Carter-Vickers will have to step up in the midfielder’s absence – otherwise, Celtic may be in for a troubled title race.

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