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Celtic: Carl Starfelt out of Real Madrid clash

Celtic: Carl Starfelt out of Real Madrid clash -Celtic News

Celtic will be without injured centre-back Carl Starfelt for Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Real Madrid. 

The lowdown

Celtic open their UCL Group F campaign with a home game against the reigning champions of Europe.

Starfelt has started the Hoops’ last two Scottish Premiership matches, but only lasted 57 minutes in Saturday’s 4-0 Old Firm victory over arch-rivals Rangers.

Ange Postecoglou’s other centre-back options include Cameron Carter-Vickers, new arrival Mortiz Jenz and Stephen Welsh.

The latest

Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via Celts Are Here), Postecoglou revealed that Starfelt had sustained a knee injury against the Gers that will sideline him for the visit of Los Blancos.

“On the weekend, Carl Starfelt hurt his knee,” the Australian said. “We don’t have an exact diagnosis, but it’s nothing too serious.

“But it will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks.”

The player was unsurprisingly absent from training on Monday.

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The verdict

This is definitely a blow to Celtic’s chances of upsetting Carlo Ancelotti’s side.

Starfelt was producing a solid performance against Rangers, winning three of the five duels he contested, completing 23 out of 26 passes and making five clearances (via SofaScore).

He was even better in the 9-0 win over Dundee United the previous weekend, capping off his performance by scoring the team’s final goal. That day, he also won seven of ten aerial battles, picked out team-mates with three of his four long passes and made two interceptions.

Across the entirety of the 2021/22 season, the Swede completed over 91 per cent of his Premiership passes and complete more passes per game than any other Hoops player.

You can get a sense, then, of what Starfelt offers – a strong aerial presence, a goal threat from set-pieces and above all superb distribution.

Celtic podcaster Ryan McGinlay hailed him as a ‘massive’ figure in the Hoops’ SPFL triumph last season and called for him to be made vice captain.

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