THE last time Celtic fans saw Filipe Jota in action was the first-half of the Premiership meeting with St Johnstone in Perth on October 8.
The flamboyant Portuguese winger was withdrawn by Ange Postecoglou at the interval and watched from the sidelines as Giorgos Giakoumakis netted the dramatic stoppage-time winner when it looked as though two crucial points were about to be shed.
Since then, Jota has missed two Champions League encounters – RB Leipzig (0-2) and Shakhtar Donetsk (1-1) – and two league outings – Hibs (6-1) and Hearts (4-3) – as well as the 4-0 Premier Sports League Cup quarter-final win over Motherwell last midweek.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Filipe Jota in action against St Johnstone in Perth earlier this month.
Boss Postecoglou has hinted the £6.5million summer arrival from Benfica on a permanent five-year deal could be fit for selection for Sunday’s match against Livingston in West Lothian.
The Greek/Australian gaffer must now ponder about risking his gifted ball-player on one of the worst playing surfaces in the top flight that has proved problematic for some Hoops players in the past.
After Livi, the team face four games in the countdown to the World Cup Finals in Qatar next month and December. Jota, of course, has been included in his nation’s provisional squad of 55 players as recognition for his efforts earlier in the season.
The Hoops bring down the curtain on the Champions League adventure against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu on Wednesday before returning for a home league match against Dundee United a week on Saturday.
PARADISE…fans’ favourite Filipe Jota’s salute after scoring a superb solo goal in the 4-0 derby romp.
Then it’s Motherwell in Lanarkshire four days later with the final game before the break against Ross County in the east end of Glasgow on November 12.
Jota will get plenty of opportunities for game time before Postecoglou takes the squad to Australia for the Sydney Super Cup with matches against the local team and Everton.
With wide Bhoys such as Liel Abada, Sead Haksabanovic and evergreen James Forrest available for Sunday’s High Noon shoot-out, the manager may decide to hold back Jota for at least another 90 minutes.