INFLUENTIAL double-act Reu Hatate and Filipe Jota face a race to be fit for the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden a week tomorrow.
The Japanese midfielder and the Portuguese maverick will both wath this afternoon’s match against Motherwell from the Parkhead stand after being omitted from Ange Postecoglou’s provisional squad.
Israeli winger Liel Abada is in an identical situation as he attempts to overcome the injury he sustained in training with his country’s squad during the recent international break.
TAKE-OFF…Filipe Jota leaves Malik Tillman in his slipstream during the League Cup Final win in February.
Ideally, the manager would have liked to have given all three some minutes to prepare for the crucial meeting at the national stadium against Michael Beale’s side, but none has proved they are anywhere near acceptable match fitness.
The last sighting of Hatate was in the 3-1 home win over Hibs on March 18. He limped off with what looked like a muscle problem and has missed the subsequent encounters against Ross County, the Ibrox club and Kilmarnock.
Jota sat out the 4-1 at Rugby Park last weekend and has been overlooked for today’s visit of Stuart Kettlewell’s side to the east end of Glasgow.
There must now be huge questions marks over the availability of Hatate, Jota and Abada for next weekend.
CHEERS…Liel Abada celebrates one of his hat-trick in the 9-0 romp at Tannadice in August.
On the plus side, key central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers will face the Fir Park side after missing the match at Killie as a precaution on their plastic playing surface.
Joe Hart, Scott Bain, Benji Siegrist;
Alistair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Greg Taylor, Yuki Kobayashi, Alexandro Bernabei, Stephen Welsh;
Matt O’Riley, Aaron Mooy, Callum McGregor, Tomoki Iwata, David Turnbull, Ben Summers;
Sead Haksabanovic, Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi, Oh Hyeon-gyu, Rocco Vata.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Celtic v Motherwell this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.