Who will captain Celtic against Real Betis? Ange Postecoglou admits it may be 'musical chairs'

No decision has yet been taken by Ange Postecoglou on who will lead out Celtic against Real Betis in the injury absence of captain Callum McGregor.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has yet to decide who will wear the captain's armband in Seville. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has yet to decide who will wear the captain's armband in Seville. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

And the Australian confesses that the armband wearing could become like a game of “musical chairs” because of the absence of a natural successor to the Scotland midfielder.

It is likely that only Tom Rogic and Anthony Ralston of the players involved tonight in the Europa League group opener in the Estadio Benito Villamarín will have any real length of first-team service that pre-dated the complete overhaul of the Celtic squad this season. McGregor’s withdrawal in the weekend win over Ross County led to Rogic being passed the band, before this was handed to Joe Hart when the playmaker himself later made way. As it stands, the club has no vice-captain, the role previously performed by McGregor to former captain Scott Brown.

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“I haven’t selected one yet,” said the Celtic manager. “When you look around the group it’s a pretty big group, there aren’t many who have been around for too long. From my perspective it’s about who’s going to feel the most comfortable in the role. We have brought some experience to the club, which I think will help us, particularly tomorrow night. I’ll have a look at it tomorrow. It was a bit of a relay every time someone came off [on Saturday]. It might be the same thing – like musical chairs and the one left ends up being captain.”

Meanwhile, Postecoglou has given his full support to the Jewish members of his squad Liel Abada and Nir Bitton not being “able to participate” against Betis because of their observance of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in their religious calendar, and a day when all members of the faith are expected to refrain from work.

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“It’s their religion, and rightly so,” the Celtic manager said. “It’s a day where you’re not allowed to participate in events, a day of reflection for them. It’s not the first time it’s happened in my career, where a player's religious beliefs have meant that football doesn’t take the priority we all think it should maybe sometimes in life. That’s the case for Liel and Niro tomorrow night and we’re very respectful of that.”

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