With Nawrocki back in training, who will Rodgers select alongside Carter-Vickers?

Brendan Rodgers announced during his most recent media duties that Polish centre-back Maik Nawrocki could be a surprise contender for inclusion in Sunday’s game against Hearts.

On the 22-year-old, Rodgers said that, “He’s doing very well and trained over the last week or so. So we’ve virtually only really got Stephen Welsh and Liel Abada who will hopefully be back in December time.”

The manager is clearly a big fan of the Pole, as Nawrocki had started every game he was available for prior to the injury he suffered in the Viaplay Cup second round exit at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock.

The welcome news of his return now leaves Rodgers with something of a conundrum for his centre-back selection, but it is a good dilemma for the Irishman to have.

Who should partner Cameron Carter-Vickers against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday?

Liam Scales

Perhaps the fans’ choice for a starting position on Sunday, and it would be difficult to argue the case against his inclusion.

Scales swiftly became an important part of this Celtic team when at one point he was cast aside. His aggression, one-on-one defending and aerial ability have all come on leaps and bounds to the point where he looks undroppable at the moment.

Despite some good performances domestically, doubts still lingered over Scales’ ability at a European level, and he passed those two tests against Feyenoord and Lazio with flying colours as he was the most impressive player in that Celtic backline across the opening pair of Champions League games.

Gustaf Lagerbielke

The Swede is another player who has stepped up in the face of the injury crisis that hampered the team’s options in defence. He may not have expected as many starting minutes in the early stages at Celtic, but he has performed well when called upon and is yet to concede a goal domestically when he is on the park.

The 23-year-old was dropped from his starting position with the return of Nat Phillips and Cameron Carter-Vickers, but a good performance and his first international goal during the break has reinstated him into the equation for a potential start on Sunday.

Nat Phillips

Signed as an emergency loan arrival in the summer, the Englishman hasn’t put a foot wrong in a Celtic shirt. He would have expected more game-time since arriving from Liverpool, but an injury picked up on arrival put paid to that.

Philliops is now fully up to speed with match sharpness, but with him only being contracted at Celtic until January, Rodgers may look to use the players that are at the club on a permanent deal rather than favour the temporary option.

Maik Nawrocki

As previously mentioned, the Pole is fit and has been training at Lennoxtown over the last week or so. He had a positive start to life at Celtic, with his passing range and recovery pace being key parts of his game.

As the most expensive signing in the summer transfer window, Rodgers will be looking to get Nawrocki involved in the team as soon as possible.

Who starts?

It would be extremely harsh to drop Liam Scales given his good form, so he will be expected to maintain his starting position. This will keep Scales’ confidence high as he continues to develop his game following his international exploits during the break.

Expect Nawrocki to be involved in some capacity, most likely an appearance from the bench if the game looks comfortable around the hour mark.


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