Scotland and Celtic supporters would have recognised a familiar face when Scotland beat Israel on penalties on Thursday.
Celtic star Nir Bitton was meant to be a doubt to play for Israel, as Neil Lennon insisted he had an ankle injury, but he started the game, per SofaScore, and even more bizarrely played all 120 minutes.
It seems like this could come back to haunt him following the latest news surrounding his role in Israel’s upcoming international matches.
Will Bitton feature again during this international break?
According to The Scottish Sun, Bitton has now been pulled out of the squad for their games against Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The reason is not known, but he could well have made his injury even worse, or certainly a bit sorer. The fact that he has pulled out of these fixtures has put a question mark over his availability for Celtic’s next game in the Scottish Premiership against Old Firm rivals Rangers.
How much could Bitton’s injury affect Celtic?
Obviously, Hoops manager Neil Lennon would want a full squad available to choose from for the huge match coming up. The Gers are above Celtic in the SPFL table by one point, so if the Bhoys win, they can go top of the division and still with a game in hand.
The fact that Lennon believed that Bitton would not play due to injury will also infuriate the manager. It feels irresponsible and crazy that despite the injury concerns, Bitton still played the full match, extra time and even took a penalty. It looks like they have worsened the injury as they aren’t even risking involving him for the future matches.
Should Celtic defender Bitton have played for Israel against Scotland?
The versatile ace has not been a consistent starter for the Hoops this campaign, but he has played in six matches, including three games in the SPFL, per Transfermarkt.
Therefore his possible absence might not impact the club massively for their Old Firm derby. However, it will mean that Lennon’s squad lacks a little depth, so they will be hoping there are no more injuries in the defence.
Hopefully Bitton learns in the future not to aggravate any possible injuries no matter how big the fixture. Lennon has every right to be possibly furious about this rather strange situation. Bitton has now learnt the hard way that this could cause him to miss a lot more fixtures than planned.
Celtic fans, what are your thoughts on this news? Comment below!