Unquestionably, a key factor in the Hoops recent failure to effectively break down teams has been the unfortunate absence of Celtic winger James Forrest due to injury. The 29-year-old has not featured for Celtic since the 1-0 win over Riga in the Europa League on the 24th September.
Predictably, there has been a knock-on effect with regards to Celtic’s attacking play over the last two months. Due to the lack of any like for like replacement for the Scotland international, playmaker Ryan Christie has primarily shouldered the responsibility of performing on the right-hand side for the Celts.
Although the mercurially talented Christie has provided an offensive outlet for Neil Lennon when coming in from the right-wing, his end-product is diluted within the role. Statistically, in 7 games in place of James Forrest on the right; Christie has contributed 1 goal and 0 assists indicating his abilities are suited elsewhere on the pitch.
Ryan Christie’s goal threat has become one of the main features of the Hoops play this campaign, with the Scotland hero now seemingly moving back to his preferred central function, Neil Lennon will hope that he can add to his 4 goals and 8 assists so far this season.
James Forrest has always proved to be a star player for Celtic. His propensity to beat his man, take up goal-scoring positions and progress Celtic’s forward play has made him an imperative figure in the champions 9 in a row run.
As times become increasingly desperate at Parkhead, Neil Lennon will hope his man who has scored 61 goals and created 66 goals in the last five seasons returns to the full fitness sooner rather than later.