The possibility remains in the realms of the unknown with Japan, Australia and the US yet to name their squads for World Cup qualifiers to be contested as Celtic would be scheduled to host Dundee United on January 29, the Ibrox club four days, and then travel to Motherwell on February 6.
The SPFL rules allow clubs to request postponements if clubs lose three or more players to international duty. As it stands, only Australian Tom Rogic appears certain to be called-up from the Celtic set-up. Kyogo Furuhashi’s hamstring issues – likely to keep him out of Monday’s league hosting of Hibs – could yet rule him out for Japan’s World Cup qualifiers. And though Celtic now have three other Japanese players in Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, and Yosuke Ideguchi, not one of them was included in the squad for the country’s last group games for their Qatar 2022 push in November. Celtic’s on-loan Tottenham Hotspur Cameron Carter-Vickers, has been touted for inclusion in the US squad for their qualifiers in late January/early February but the 23-year-old’s last cap was two years ago.
All of which makes Postecoglou reluctant to speculate on the situation that could be facing him by the end of the coming week – when the squads are expected to be named – though the Celtic manager would offer no definitive about how the club would react to three call-ups either.
“That falls into the department of stuff that I don’t really think about,” he said. “It’s not a problem yet. I could spend hours thinking about it and what we were going to do and strategise and have meetings on it – then in the end find out that only one gets selected. So, I’m not going to worry about that. We’ll plan as we always have, that when we lose our players to international duty we’ll crack on and play the games we need to play. At the moment, there’s no point even thinking about that. As it stands, none of the players have been selected, so until that happens….we’ll look at it then.”