Will Ange play the Trophy Day XI tomorrow?…
As the Scottish Cup final and a possible historic treble shines over Celtic players and fans alike, questions remain around the team Ange will send out onto the pitch at Hampden tomorrow at half past five.
A week on from Celtic’s impressive 5-0 victory over the third best team in the country Aberdeen, knocks to Kyogo Furuhashi and Alistair Johnston had worried Celtic fans, but Ange has given positive updates on both players in his recent press conference.
“Kyogo is progressing although he hasn’t trained yet so the plan is to try and get him out there tomorrow and see how he goes,” Ange Postecoglou disclosed. He added: “He’s done some individual stuff this afternoon and progressed. He always is, but he’s pretty bullish about playing”.
When asked about Alistair Johnston, Ange revealed the Canadian international has “trained all week” and will be back in contention along with Sead Hakšabanović.
However, a couple of questions remain surrounding the rest of Ange’s potential cup final starting eleven.
Joe Hart will start in goal with Greg Taylor and Alistair Johnston a certainty to start in both full back positions.
Carl Starfelt is a banker to start, but Ange has a couple of different options on who he will pair with the Swedish international. Yuki Kobyashi could offer a different dynamic as a left footer with the 22-year-old very comfortable in making progressive passes into the final third of the pitch.
After Celtic’s comprehensive win and performance last weekend, Ange will likely send out an unchanged centre-half pairing of Carl Starfelt and Tomoki Iwata, the latter more physically able than Kobayashi to handle whatever Inverness may throw at Celtic.
The familiar trio of Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor will likely start in midfield, but Jota remains the only nailed on forward to start.
Kyogo remains a doubt with the final position between Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada certainly up for grabs.
Ange has preferred starting Maeda for large parts of the season but his recent form could open the door for Abada who had an impressive 45 minutes against Aberdeen on Trophy Day.
Whatever starting XI is named at around 4.15pm tomorrow, the expectation of an historic EIGHTH treble and a performance to match the significance of the achievement will remain.
PREDICTED CELTIC TEAM…Hart; Johnston, Iwata, Starfelt, Taylor; McGregor (c), Hatate, O’Riley; Abada, Kyogo and Jota.