BRENDAN RODGERS will be hoping Greg Taylor is not stricken with injury during the champions’ Scottish Cup adventure this season.

The holders will kick off the defence of the silverware they won in the 3-1 success over Inverness Caley Thistle in June when they once again face Highland opposition in Buckie Thistle in the fourth round at Parkhead this afternoon.

Taylor will be in his usual No.3 slot, but Rodgers could be struggling for back-up if the Scotland international is sidelined for any reason.

The Hoops are poised to part company with £3.75million Argentinian flop Alexandro Bernabei, who has yet to make a first-team appearance since the return of Rodgers.

He could yet move in this transfer window if a suitable offer is received – and that could create a problem for the Hoops boss.

GREEN FOR GO…Greg Taylor celebrates after netting Celtic’s third goal against St Mirren in Paisley as the champions kick off 2024 with a 3-0 victory. The ever-present is now crucial to Brendan Rodgers’ plans.

Adam Montgomery, on loan at Motherwell until the end of the season, made his debut in his new team’s 3-1 victory over Alloa at Fir Park yesterday.

That scuppered any chance of an emergency recall to Parkhead with the 21-year-old versatile left-sided operator now Cup-tied after playing 88 minutes in the triumph over the third-tier side.

And it’s an identical situation with South Korean enforcer Kwon Hyeon-kyu who figured in the entire match for St Mirren in their 1-0 win over Queen of the South in Paisley.

CUP-TIED…Adam Montgomery, in action for Fleetwood Town earlier in the season, played in Motherwell’s 3-1 win over Alloa to render him unavailable to Celtic in the event of an emergency on the Hampden trail.

The Hoops, of course, are well covered in the midfield area, but the same cannot be said about the left-back position – especially if Bernabei leaves within the next 10 days.

Liam Scales could be switched to the wide left role and that would open a place for the likes of Gustaf Lagerbielke to fill in.

However, Montgomery, who had his season-long temporary deal at Fleetwood Town cut short at the turn of the year, would have been a ready-made replacement.

That option is now off the table.

WELCOME TO PAISLEY…Kwon Hyeon-kyu and boss Stephen Robinson after the South Korean’s loan arrival.

In the meantime, Saints gaffer Stephen Robinson was delighted with his recruit from the champions and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Kwon’s not played in months, but he’s a good player and just needs game time. We are delighted he got the 90.

“We were looking at about 60 minutes for Kwon, but I thought we were dominant in the game so he wasn’t doing loads of running, he was running the game. We thought it would be beneficial for him to get 90 minutes, psychologically.

“We saw glimpses, he has got a lot of talent, he and Caolan Boyd-Munce dominated the game.”

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