NEW Japanese Bhoy Tomoki Iwata is poised to play at least part of Celtic’s Scottish Cup opener against Morton at Parkhead this afternoon.

The J-League Player of the Year, who touched down in Scotland a fortnight ago after agreeing a five-year contract move from Yokohama F Marinos, is gearing up for his first appearances, as CQN reported during the week.

The defensive midfielder has been involved in sessions at Lennoxtown since his arrival and Ange Postecoglou is ready to give him the go-ahead for his debut.

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…new Bhoy Tomoki Iwata is poised for his Celtic debut.

The Hoops boss said: “I’ll put a team out I think can win the game for us. Tomoki’s still building up his fitness. He hasn’t played for quite a while, but he is available.

“He’ll be part of the squad and if we get him some game time, we will. But the team that goes out will hopefully get the job done.”

Postecoglou is treating the challenge from the Cappielow side extremely seriously and is aware the Greenock club dismissed the champions from the League Cup in an infamous evening in the east end of Glasgow in September 2013.

Ironically, it was present-day gaffer Dougie Imrie who got the only goal of the match in extra-time when he walloped a penalty-kick past Lakusz Zaluska after Efe Ambrose had been adjudged by referee Bobby Madden to have deliberately handled in the box.

The erratic Nigerian international defender, coincidentally, is part of the Championship outfit’s squad for this afternoon’s 12.15pm kick-off.

UP FOR THE CUP…Ange Postecoglou knows what to expect from Morton.

Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “There’s been plenty of Cup upsets both here and down south recently, so that tells you that no opponent should be underestimated.

“We’ve scouted them. They had a pretty strong pre-Christmas period, results haven’t been as forthcoming.

“But they’ve an experienced group and they’re going to be set up to make it difficult for us.

“Like every Cup competition, everyone goes into it wanting to create an upset, so we’ll be ready and prepared to play our football.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Morton this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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