Celtic’s Erik Sviatchenko should be fit to face Rangers

Celtic manager Ronny Deila. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

Celtic manager Ronny Deila. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS

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Erik Sviatchenko has a “good chance” of facing Rangers, according to Celtic manager Ronny Deila.

The centre-back missed the win at Motherwell on Saturday after going off with a thigh injury against Dundee four days earlier.

But Deila is optimistic the Denmark international will be fit for Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

The Norwegian told Sky Sports News HQ: “He has a good chance. So we will see. It’s too early to say. He has a grade one pulled muscle so it’s a good chance.”

Another centre-back, Jozo Simunovic, is definitely out with a knee injury while Dedryck Boyata missed training on Tuesday.

But Deila said: “He’ll be fine, it’s just a small thing. Everyone knows what is coming up, it’s just to make themselves ready for Sunday now.”

The Celtic manager is unsure whether the Hampden pitch will be ready, though, after it was relaid on Monday for the second time in recent weeks.

“That’s hard to say,” he said. “It’s good that they try everything to get a good pitch. But hopefully it will be good. It’s tough in this weather to get it fast and firm before Sunday. That’s difficult.”

Deila is concerned the new pitch will affect the game, as one of its predecessors did during Celtic’s 2-0 win over Rangers in last year’s League Cup semi-finals.

“It did last year,” Deila said. “It’s important for every football team to have good pitches.”

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