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Celtic: Jackie McNamara expects Odsonne Edouard to play in Betfred Cup final

Celtic: Jackie McNamara expects Odsonne Edouard to play in Betfred Cup final

Former Celtic player Jackie McNamara thinks that Hoops boss Neil Lennon will take a chance on the fitness of striker Odsonne Edouard for tomorrow’s Betfred Cup final.

The 21-year-old has missed the last three games through what Lennon described as a “niggle” in Friday’s press conference but, as reported by Football Insider, it is likely that he will be declared fit for selection for the game at Hampden Park, having made good progress in his recovery from the knock.

McNamara reckons that Edouard will be in the starting XI against Rangers. When asked by Football Insider if Lennon would gamble on the Frenchman’s fitness, he replied: “Yeah, I think he will. He’ll have a look at it, he’s not played in the last two games but he might have been tempted to put him in. He’s managed to have every opportunity to be fully fit for Sunday.”

If Edouard is fit enough to feature in the cup final, then McNamara’s pre-game verdict is likely to come to pass, given the striker’s fine record this season and previous against Rangers.

Prior to his injury, the 21-year-old had scored 13 goals in 25 Celtic appearances so far this term, making him their joint-second top scorer and by far their most prolific centre-forward.

Left winger Lewis Morgan, who has been playing up top in Edouard’s absence, has managed just two goals all season, with one in three games filling in at centre-forward.

Lennon will likely be aware of the Frenchman’s impressive record against their Glasgow rivals, with five goals in seven previous derby appearances (as per TransferMarkt).

Edouard was on target the last time the two teams met at the beginning of September, while he scored one goal and set up another in the 2-1 derby win at Parkhead last March. [via TransferMarkt]

Also, the 21-year-old has come good in cup finals in the past, having scored both of Celtic’s goals as they came from behind to defeat Hearts 2-1 in last season’s Scottish Cup decider (as per BBC).

With the Frenchman proving that he can often deliver on big occasions such as cup finals and Glasgow derbies, and with him being quite prolific so far this season, it is hard to disagree with McNamara’s view that Lennon will select him tomorrow if he is fit enough to play.

Celtic fans, do you agree with McNamara’s prediction on Edouard playing in the Betfred Cup final? Have your say by commenting below!

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Article title: Celtic: Jackie McNamara expects Odsonne Edouard to play in Betfred Cup final

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