FANS’ favourite Patrick Roberts is hoping to make his first appearance at Parkhead since October when Celtic face Morton in the Scottish Cup quarter-final this afternoon.
The on-loan Manchester City winger has been out of action with a hamstring injury since limping off in the 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park on November 29.
Brendan Rodgers gave Roberts an hour in the development team’s win over Partick Thistle at Cappielow eight days ago and the Englishman was in line to play some part of Wednesday’s Premiership match against Dundee before the encounter was wiped out by blizzard conditions.
However, he could be reintroduced in the 12.30pm kick-off against Jim Duffy’s Championship outfit as he works on his match sharpness with a crucial run-in to the campaign looming.
Mikael Lustig is also available after being sent off in the 2-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday following two yellow-card offences.
But his one-match ban is only for Premiership outings, so he can play in the Cup before his suspension kicks in against Sevco Rangers at Ibrox a week tomorrow.
January signing Marvin Compper could be involved for the first time after overcoming a calf injury, but Craig Gordon and Nir Bitton, with knee injuries, Dedryck Boyata (groin), Leigh Griffiths (calf), Stuart Armstrong (hernia) and Jonny Hayes (broken leg) are still out.
Celtic’s provisional squad is: De Vries, Ralston, Lustig, Tierney, Compper, Hendry, Ajer, Gamboa, Brown, Simunovic, Ntcham, Roberts, McGregor, Musonda, Rogic, Forrest, Sinclair, Dembele, Edouard, Kouassi, Miller and Bain.
Here are some stats to ponder as kick-off draws closer.
* CELTIC have lifted the Scottish Cup a record 37 times, but they last won back-to-back competitions in 2004 and 2005 under Martin O’Neill.
* RODGERS’ team are unbeaten in the last 51 domestic home games – winning 42 and drawing nine – since a 2-1 Premiership defeat from Motherwell in December 2015.
* MORTON were the last lower-division club to win at Parkhead in either Cup competition when they triumphed 1-0 in the League Cup third round in September 2013. Dougie Imrie got the only goal with a penalty-kick in extra-time.
* SINCE the Greenock club’s victory, only four Scottish clubs have been victorious in the east end of Glasgow – Aberdeen, Hamilton Accies, St Johnstone and Motherwell.
* JIM DUFFY’S men are unbeaten in their last 10 away games in all competitions. Their last away defeat was 2-1 in the Championship at Dundee United on September 23.
* THE Greenock side have conceded just 24 goals in the Championship this season – only Celtic with 18, have conceded fewer in Scottish league football this season.