It’s not often a manager will tell you outright before a big game what his selection thinking is going to be but when it comes to the goalkeeper situation, Neil Lennon has locked it in.
Supporters were expecting Conor Hazard to start the game against Dundee Utd and then start the game at Ibrox on Saturday.
When the team line came out on Wednesday afternoon, we were surprised to see Hazard had been dropped for Barkas.
The Greek goalkeeper lost his place to Hazard earlier this month when he came in for the dead rubber against Lille. Given the Celtic manager trusted Conor in the quadruple treble cup final, we thought there was every chance of an Ibrox start, but that won’t be the case.
“We’ve got big games coming up and I want Vasilis to play in them.” Lennon told CelticTV.
“He’s come in as number one and I want him to play.
“I think Conor’s done very well but he’s still very fledgling in his career.
“It would be a big call to put him into a game of this magnitude at the weekend.
“So, I want to go back to experience.
“Vasilis hasn’t shown us yet what he’s all about – but he’s capable of doing that
“So I thought it was important to give him a game before the weekend.”
There’s no ambiguity who will be between the sticks for the Glasgow Derby and as chances go, Barkas has the opportunity to show what he’s made of.
He didn’t cover himself in glory the last Glasgow Derby and must do better if Celtic are going to have a chance of winning the game.