Celtic play ‘Rangers’ on Sunday in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, and as always, there are some huge team selection choices to be made, for both sides.
Celtic fans were thrilled today when manager Ange Postecoglou said in his pre-match press conference this afternoon that Jota, Liel Abada and Reo Hatate had trained all week and were available for Sunday, with the draw at home to Motherwell last weekend proving just how much we have missed those three of late.
Speaking on Clyde Superscoreboard tonight, Kenny Miller was talking up Hatate’s chances of starting the match.
When asked by host Gordon Duncan if it was a good indicator the these three players has trained all week, rather than just the last couple of days for example, Miller replied:
“I think it’s a difference case if you’re kind of training like today or tomorrow, trying to prove you are ready for this game and you want to be considered for selection.”
“If you’ve trained Monday through to the game on Sunday, that probably means, for me, you probably could have been in the squad the week before.”
“You probably could have been training leading into that game, but you’re looking at, like Roger says, there is no bigger game at this moment than this game coming, so it’s definitely, probably been earmarked for a Hatate comeback I would say, and he’ll have a full week’s training.”
“Listen, you’ve got Iwata who’s been excellent since he’s came in, and Aaron Mooy is at a different stage of his career. He’s been out for a while, just to them come back into that last games (against Rangers) he was clearly going to be a bit rusty.”
“Hatate is a different animal altogether. Everybody’s different. Hatate’s an absolute machine when he plays. He covers every blade of grass.”
“I think they’ve probably looked at this game to try and get him back in.”
Miller is definitely right about Hatate and you’d definitely fancy him to come back in for this game and be much more match sharp compared to Aaron Mooy for example, who seems to need several games before we see the best of him.
Hatate starting the game for Celtic on Sunday, really could make all the difference for us, because he is such a top quality players, and he has already proven that he is more than capable of heavily influencing these fixtures.
I fully expect him to start the game on Sunday.