Maeda called up by Japan, how Celtic might line-up against the Rangers

With the Japan World Cup squad squad being announced in the early hours of this morning we now know that Celtic will be without both Tom Rogic, who was yesterday called up by Australia and Daizen Maeda who today was named in the Japan squad for their forthcoming World Cup matches against China and Saudi Arabia.

Cameron Carter Vickers is NOT included in the United States squad so will remain at Celtic and will be available or the matches against Hearts (at Tynecastle next Wednesday, 26 January), Dundee United on 29 January and theRangers on 2 February, with both these games at Celtic Park.

Reo Hatate and even Yosuke Ideguchi will also be available for Celtic as neither player was called up for the Japan squad this morning. Realistically Hatate could have made the squad with Ideguchi at this stage a long shot.

Yesterday The Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou explained at his media conference ahead of the trip to Clackmannanshire this afternoon to face Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Cup (kick-off is at 5.30pm and it’s live on Premier Sports) that Kyogo is unlikely to be available for at least a few weeks and last weekend the news from Japan was that The Celtic talisman was already ruled out of the Japan squad due to injury.

It would take something of a minor miracle to have Kyogo available for the Glasgow Derby on 2 February.

Kyogo is being carefully assessed and this time will not be rushed back for either Celtic or Japan. “We are still sort of working through that but suffice to say it’s not going to be a quick return,” the Celtic manager said. “I’m reluctant to put any timeframe on it, just for the player himself. I think it’s unfair that I do that, but we are still looking at a number of weeks at the moment.

“Hopefully we will get some clarity, there are still some things they want to see if it settles down, but we are looking at a number of weeks at this point.”

So how might Celtic line-up against theRangers?

Giorgos Giakoumakis of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at on October 23, 2021(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Joe Hart will be in goals. Juranovic and Taylor likely to start as the full-backs with Carter Vickers and Starfelt as the usual central defenders. The Captain Callum McGregor will be the usual number 6 with Hatate and perhaps New Bhoy Matt O’Riley in the more advanced midfield roles. With Jota on the left and Forrest on the right wing and Giorgos Giakoumakis through the middle its a pretty song side despite the injuries and international call-ups.

Reo Hatate of Celtic and Paul Hanlon of Hibernian during the Scottish Premier League match at Celtic Park, on 17 January 2021. Photo Neil Hanna / Sportimage

The bench would have the likes of Bain, Bitton, Ralston, Welsh, Ideguchi, Scales, Abada, Johnston, McCarthy – decent enough, don’t you think?

Watch Ange Postecoglou media conference below…

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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