Sir Kenny Dalglish is placing his confidence in Nat Phillips to rise to the occasion and be instrumental in delivering a Celtic victory against Lazio in their upcoming group-stage match of the Champions League.

Nat Philips
30th September 2023; Fir Park, Motherwell, Scotland; Scottish Premiership Football, Motherwell versus Celtic; Nathaniel Phillips of Celtic on the ball during the warm up

Celtic, seeking to win their first points after their 2-0 defeat to Feyenoord, face considerable challenges, particularly in defence. With key players like Cameron Carter-Vickers and Maik Nawrocki sidelined due to injuries, and Gustaf Lagerbielke suspended after a red card in the Feyenoord match, Brendan Rodgers’ squad is compelled to strategise efficiently.

Amidst these constraints, Nat Phillips is recovering from his own injury. The Liverpool loanee, who made an appearance as a substitute against Motherwell, is poised to play a substantial role in the impending game due to the absence of several regular defenders.

Dalglish emphasises Phillips, along with the esteemed midfield trio of Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate, and Matt O’Riley, as the potential architects of victory against Lazio. The midfielders, now secured with extended contracts, could orchestrate the game’s flow and bring a sense of balanced vigour to the team’s dynamics.

He said: [Football Scotland]

“With Gus Lagerbielke suspended, Nat Phillips may be called in to partner Liam Scales.

“Nat hasn’t had much top team football in the past few months but I’ve no doubts about his qualities. He will handle the occasion very well.

“In the engine room, Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley will all have vital roles to play. All three are operating together very nicely and can dictate proceedings in midweek.

“There is a lovely balance there and they can be the difference.”


  1. Nat Phillips was signed to cover the crisis at CB we faced in the position, and even he hasn’t gone to plan yet with injury.
    May well be forced into taking the gamble upon him, even though he might not be totally match fit? So hopefully the extra experience will still benifit ourselves.
    Always felt that the 2CB along with the keeper really needs to be the most secure for ourselves, especially at CL level.
    We couldn’t get that last season within the CL, and Injuries has deprived us get again this season, of getting that area of the team secured.
    Still need our midfielders to be able to control, and be far better creatively than last time out, to get the right result imo.
    Chances of us keeping a clean sheet, I wouldn’t be confident about whatsoever, but still believe we can win the game all the same, especially as it will call upon big performances from our big performers, and nothing suggests Phillips can’t help to add to our cause either imo.


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