Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has said Luis Palma and Alistair Johnston, are doubtful for the upcoming match against Motherwell due to their commitments with their national teams and the subsequent travel demands.

Alistair Johnston Canada
Soccer Football – FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 – Group F – Canada v Morocco – Al Thumama Stadium, Doha, Qatar – December 1, 2022 Canada’s Jonathan David and Alistair Johnston look dejected after the match REUTERS/Carl Recine

Luis Palma, who plays for Honduras, was involved in the CONCACAF Nations League quarter-final first leg against Mexico. Despite picking up a knock, he recovered in time to play 98 minutes in the second leg, which unfortunately ended in a penalty shootout defeat for Honduras. The concern for Celtic is that Palma’s return from South America is scheduled for just a day before the Motherwell match, leaving little time for recovery.

Similarly, Alistair Johnston has been on international duty with Canada and played against Jamaica. Like Palma, he is also expected to return to the club on Friday, giving him a limited window to rest and prepare for the Motherwell game.

Speaking ahead of the match on Wednesday, the manager said:

“Yeah, well we are still waiting on some to come back, so Luis Palma and Ali Johnston won’t be back until Friday but the other guys have come back well.

“The guys that have played domestically and for Scotland are fine, and the others, yeah fine. So nothing injury-wise at this moment in time to report.

“Just assess, just assess and see how they are.”

Anthony Ralston will likely start at the back, and Yang and Forrest could be the wingers unless Rodgers changes the shape or looks at giving Mikey Johnston his first start of the season or even look at playing Kyogo out wide.


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