Former Scotland international Alan Hutton has tipped Olivier Ntcham to come into the Celtic midfield in place of the suspended Ryan Christie following the latter’s red card last weekend, but says that the vacancy would be tough to fill.
Christie was sent off in the Hoops’ 0-2 defeat at Livingston last Sunday when he lunged in with a high challenge on Scott Robinson, as per Sky Sports, and he now faces a couple of games on the sidelines.
Hutton told Football Insider that the 24-year-old will be a significant loss to the Celtic team, adding that French midfielder Ntcham is the most likely candidate to take Christie’s place in the side.
Speaking to Football Insider about the red card incident and ensuing suspension, Hutton said: “He’s made a lunge for the ball, it’s a bad one, it’s a red card, I think everybody knows that, nobody’s arguing the fact, but it’s not in his game. I’ve never seen him being that sort of player.
“It’s going to be hard [to replace him]. I do think it’ll be Ntcham instead of Christie.”
Hutton is quite justified in saying that Christie will be difficult to replace, given the form that the 24-year-old has shown in recent months.
His 11 goals for the season make him Celtic’s top scorer in all competitions, two ahead of Odsonne Edouard, and he had scored in three appearances in a row in September. He has also chipped in with five assists for the campaign, with only James Forrest setting up more goals for the Hoops.
Hutton is also right to point out that Christie does not have a track record of indiscipline on the pitch. His dismissal on Sunday was his first for Celtic in 70 games for the club and the first time in his club career that he has been shown a straight red card. [via TransferMarkt]
Ntcham and Tom Rogic could both be in line to take his place in the team during his suspension, with Hutton understandably leaning towards the former given their respective records this season.
Ntcham has made 16 appearances in all competitions in 2019/20, with three goals and three assists to his name. He scored twice in the recent Betfred Cup win over Partick Thistle and has featured in all but one Premiership game this term. [via TransferMarkt]
Rogic, meanwhile, has been feeling his way back gently after a lengthy spell out with a knee injury. The Australian has had just three appearances this season, with the game against Partick Thistle his only start so far in the campaign, and he has not been involved in the subsequent three matches. [via TransferMarkt]
In tipping Ntcham to come in for the suspended Christie and saying that the latter will be a hard act to replace, Hutton seems to have got it bang on with his assessment on this one.
Will Celtic get to 10 in a row?
Celtic fans, do you think Ntcham will come in for Christie and how much of a miss will the latter be? Share your views in the comments section below!
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