During the winter months, heavy pitches and congested schedules mean players are prone to more injuries, therefore prior internationals are not welcomed. Extra travelling and game time also mean players are pushed to their limit and overexerted – a solution has to be drawn up our “club v country” wrangles will continue to engulf the game. Localised end of season qualifiers I have vouched for before, but can a month or so group section be logistically arranged at the end of a gruelling campaign when players would rather get to the beach for a couple of weeks rest? The schedule again could push players over the edge.

Neil Lennon is already “at war” with the South Korean FA due to the long term absence of right back Cha Du-Ri, who was injured on international duty against Kuwait last month and now the Celtic manager is unlikely to be enamoured with the news that integral midfielder, Ki Sung-Yueng is due to play for the same national side whilst labouring with a tight hamstring (which he identified in two previous international tussles).  The loss of young Ki at this stage in the season would leave Celtic further depleted in the middle of the park with club captain Scott Brown, to miss another two months following some ankle surgery following a knock which was also picked up in the dark blue of Scotland.

Joe Ledley, who vitally missed the Bhoys last outing  at Tynecastle had to pull out of the Wales squad to continue treatment on his groin problem – whilst his fellow countryman Adam Matthews could still line up for the Dragons even after limping down the tunnel in the Hearts defeat. The Welsh double header against Switzerland & Bulgaria  is nothing but a potential confidence booster as they lie at the bottom of their group with no chance of qualifying so with an ongoing problem the young defender is at more risk over the coming days.

At least five first team regulars will be making a run out over the next week for their countries & Twitter will be awash with good will and prayers for their safe return. With Europa league games added into the mix, you have to wonder whether the joyous outpouring which was heralded from the majority of the fans with FC Sion’s expulsion, could turn into a headache which further implicates our chances of catching Rangers for the title. Chris Sutton thinks that Rangers are vulnerable this term if injuries get on top of their squad, and he may be right, but the big IF is when lady luck starts to benefit us on that front will it be too late?

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