Celtic could rest four key stars ahead of crucial Rangers Scottish Cup clash with title all but wrapped up

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou could rest a quartet of his first-team stars for Saturday’s Premiership encounter against Motherwell with the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers in mind.

The rivals meet in Mount Florida for the second time this season next Sunday for a place in the end of season final. With the league title all but wrapped up after the win over their rivals at Celtic Park earlier this month which stretched their lead at the top to 12 points, the Australian may not want to risk the fitness of four key players who have injury issues.

According to the Scottish Sun, Liel Abada returned to light training on Thursday having missed the last three fixtures following the international break where he picked up a knock when away with Israel. Celtic were without the Israeli plus Cameron Carter-Vickers, Jota and Reo Hatate in Sunday’s 4-1 win over Killie. The latter has been absent since picking up an injury against Hibs before the international break, while the former has had an issue with his knee which is likely to require surgery. Their presence wasn’t sorely missed against Killie with Tomoki Iwata impressing in midfield, Yuki Kobayashi looking comfortable in defence and Sead Haskabanovic and Daizen Maeda providing pace, power and creativity either side of Kyogo Furuhashi. Testament to the squad depth at Postecoglou’s disposal.

Celtic will have seven full days to prepare for their semi-final with Rangers where they will be hoping to take one step closer towards a domestic treble.

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