Injury to a key Celtic player could see Rangers winger Ryan Kent go up against a relatively untested teenager in December’s Old Firm League Cup Final.
The Scottish Sun reported on Thursday evening, that one of the Hoops’ summer signings, Hatem Abd Elhamed, has been ruled out for six weeks due to a groin injury sustained against Lazio.
He is Celtic’s most accomplished right-back, but won’t be available for the Hampden Park showdown.
That means Neil Lennon could deploy Old Firm novice Jeremie Frimpong.
The 18-year-old played the full 90 minutes at the weekend in the Hoops’ 2-0 win over Motherwell in what was his fifth appearance for the club. He’s impressed when going forward, but the defensive side of his game is yet to be tested with all his outings so far coming in comfortable victories.
The propect of coming up against an inexperienced full-back will surely be mouthwatering for Ryan Kent.
He gave Swedish international Mikael Lustig the runaround in multiple derbies last season, so imagine what he could do against Frimpong if he gets on top early on.
Of course, if Lennon doesn’t trust the former Man City youth, he could opt for Moritz Bauer, who replaced the injured Elhamed in Italy last week.
Yet, although the 27-year-old is an Austrian international with Premier League experience, Kent will certainly fancy his chances there too.
Bauer was struggling to get into a Stoke side that was failing spectacularly in the Championship before his loan switch to Parkhead, and his only Glasgow Derby experience came as a substitute at Ibrox back in September.
In sum, the loss of Elhamed is a major blow for Celtic who had it easy against the Gers in the last meeting between the two sides.
This time around, barring any injuries, the on-fire Alfredo Morelos is bound to start, while Kent is at Gerrard’s disposal and ready to wreak havoc down the left.