Celtic seen off Aberdeen in a competitive and hard-fought 3-1 win at Pittodrie, but it didn’t come without its consequences. Cameron Carter-Vickers left the field at half-time after noticeably struggling throughout the first half.
Reo Hatate came on for David Turnbull at half-time but, after impressing in his short cameo, had to depart the field after just 14 minutes on the park with an injury.
Two injuries to key players is the last thing Celtic fans would have been looking for, especially in the early stages of Brendan Rodgers’ second tenure at the club.
With two key players out and no timeframe for their returns in place just yet, how can Celtic adapt to their losses with the players currently at our disposal?
Cameron Carter-Vickers has been a mainstay in the Celtic defence ever since his arrival back in the summer of 2021 on an initial loan deal. Arguably the most reliable player in that Celtic defence, he is a big loss, especially considering the recent departure of his centre-back partner Carl Starfelt.
It would have been useful for new man Maik Nawrocki to have the composed Carter-Vickers by his side to help build up their partnership over the coming weeks but the Pole is going to have to shield a lot more responsibility than expected in the early stages of his time at Celtic.
He could be deputised alongside Stephen Welsh with the Scot desperately needing game time to help his development and iron out any weaknesses from his game. Whilst not the ideal pairing, they both showed on Sunday that they can be more than comfortable when lined up together.
Another option to partner Nawrocki could potentially be the incoming Gustaf Lagerbielke. The Elfsborg centre-back is set for a medical in Glasgow this week and could make his debut for the club as soon as this Sunday if Carter-Vickers injury is worse than expected.
Rodgers seems to trust Stephen Welsh as the ex-Liverpool boss has only had good things to say about the former Scotland U21 captain and the 23-year-old is the most likely to partner Nawrocki on Sunday.
Reo Hatate hasn’t started a competitive fixture this season so far but his loss will definitely be felt, especially if it happens to be a long-term injury.
David Turnbull is the obvious choice to fill in as he has played from the start in both League fixtures so far, impressing against Ross County but a lacklustre performance at Pittodrie saw the 24-year-old hooked at half-time.
Turnbull seemed to struggle with the pace and press of the Aberdeen midfield, being overrun and dispossessed far too often. However, against a Kilmarnock team that are more likely to sit in and invite pressure, Turnbull will thrive against the Rugby Park side and could see a return to form on Sunday.
If Rodgers opts to throw a wildcard in for the League Cup second round matchup then giving Odin Holm his first competitive Celtic start could be the way to go. The Norwegian has excited fans with his ball progression and technical ability and at the young age of 20, any game time is going to be vitally important to his development.