ANGE POSTECOGLOU will give his crocked trio of Filipe Jota, Reo Hatate and Liel Abada every chance of proving they are fit to perform in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday.

The influential Celtic aces will be scrutinised during training at Lennoxtown this week in their combined efforts to emphasise to the Hoops boss they are up for the crunch confrontation against Michael Beale’s Ibrox side.

All three made appearances when the clubs last met at the national stadium in February and emerged triumphant in the League Cup Final.

NATIONAL TREASURES…Reo Hatate and Kyogo Furuhashi celebrat the striker’s second goal in the League Cup Final derby triumph at Hampden in February. Daizen Maeda races to join the celebrations.

The evergreen James Forrest has been missing, too, in recent weeks, but it looks as there is no chance of the multi-decorated  winger making the match day squad on this occasion.

Asked about whether he expected any of his injured stars to return for the Cup confrontation, Postecoglou answered: “We’ll see how they go. Abada, Jota and Reo are the main three.

“They are due to train all week, so it will just come down to how they go during the training week.

“If they get through the training week, they will be available. Everyone got through the weekend okay.

“It’s only really James Forrest who probably won’t be available come the semi-final.”

UP FOR THE CUP… Liel Abada is flying high as he is challenged by the lunging Borna Barisic.

Portuguese flyer Jota, who claimed what turned out to be the winner in the 3-2 league success in the derby earlier this month, has missed the last two matches against Kilmarnock and Motherwell.

Inspirational midfielder Hatate hasn’t been seen since he limped off after only 13 minutes of the 3-1 victory over Hibs in Glasgow on March 18 while Abada, who struck two goals in the 4-0 romp over the Govan club in September, has been sidelined since sustaining a training ground injury with Israel during the international break.

Looking forward to the fifth meeting of the city rivals this season, Postecoglou, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “It’s going to be a really good game with everything on it with both teams knowing the consequences of not being successful on the day.

“It will have everything that you would normally expect from a Cup semi-final and it’s one that we are looking forward to. At this time of the year, they are all big games and they are games you want to be involved in rather than sitting at home watching them.

THREE AND EASY…Filipe Jota rolls in the third and winning goal beyond the stranded Allan McGregor in the 3-2 league win at Parkhead earlier this month.

“We don’t need motivation for Sunday, the motivation is always there. Every game we play we want to try and be the team that we aspire to be – and every game gives you that opportunity, so there’s no greater motivation.

“We were disappointed with the game on the weekend, both in performance and obviously in the result, but there’s a learning moment there for us.

“And we’ve been pretty good at learning along the way while winning games of football, which is not easy, because it’s easy to let things just roll along.

“So, when you get an opportunity like the weekend when we didn’t do things as well as we wanted to, it’s a chance for us to improve that, within the context, though, of understanding that the group has been outstanding for a very long time.”

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