FILIPE JOTA has been ruled OUT of Celtic’s Champions League Group F encounter against Shakhtar Donetsk at Parkhead tomorrow night.
The Portuguese flyer will miss his fifth consecutive game after coming off at half-time in the 2-1 stoppage-time win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park earlier this month.
It had been hoped Jota would be back for a confrontation the Hoops MUST win to remain in contention for a place in the Europa League.
NOW YOU SEE ME…Filipe Jota in his last Celtic appearance in the first-half of the 2-1 win over St Johnstone in Perth earlier this month.
Midfielder David Turnbull is in with a chance of a return, but centre-back Carl Starfelt, who trained today, is sidelined for the final match in Europe’s elite competition in Glasgow before the curtain comes down against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu a week on Wednesday.
Ange Postecoglou said: “Jota had his last rehab session and is expected to start training with us again after the game and be available again against Livingston for the weekend.
“Dave Turnbull’s alright. Carl’s back in training which is great, but it’s too early tomorrow. The idea is to get him back in training in the next few days and see how it goes.
”In the context of us continuing in Europe, it’s a must-win game and our ambition is to try and achieve that and keep us alive. It’s not that because I think we deserve something you automatically get it or you feel like you’re owed something.
“My thought process around this whole thing is that if you keep putting yourself in that position of creating chances then eventually you get your rewards and that’s the key for us.
EURO FOCUS…Ange Postecoglou acknowledges the challenges of the Champions League.
“We have to tackle it in the same manner, particularly here at home, put pressure on the opposition and if we create the same number of chances then it’s about converting them.
“From my perspective, it’s a lot better being in that sort of situation rather than trying to figure out how to create chances to try and score goals.”
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We found last season in the Europa League the physical demands are greater than the Premiership because for the most part of Premiership games, even though we try and play high tempo, we have a lot of control of the games which means we’re not doing too much running back towards our goal.
“But you’re playing against better opposition and it’s more of a challenge for us to maintain that tempo when you don’t have the ball.
“But within that context I think physically, in all the games, we’ve performed really well, but the difficulty then is recovery and back up for your next game when they’re so close together.”
It was bad news for Jota after learning he had been brought into Portugal’s provisional 55-player squad for the World Cup Finals in Qatar next month and December, as CQN reported earlier today.