Injury update and predicted Celtic team with six top stars sitting this one out

Celtic will be without six key players for today’s visit from St Johnstone to Celtic Park in the final Scottish Premiership match before the international break.

Usually these breaks are dreaded by a Celtic support that seldom has as much passion and engagement in international football compared to watching Celtic, but this time it’s something of a relief.

Celtic’s Medical team 

This will allow Brendan Rodgers and the medical team at Lennoxtown to work their magic and hopefully clear up our injury woes for the title run in and also the defence of the Scottish Cup.

Following on from Brendan’s media conference yesterday afternoon we now know the six first team Celtic players who are unavailable for today’s vital Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone

They are as follows:

Celtic’s Irish defender Liam Scales fights for the ball with Atletico Madrid’s French striker Antoine Griezmann during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park on October 25, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Liam Scales – A new addition to the injury list, the Ireland international left-sided central defender has pretty much played every minute of this campaign to date but has looked jaded in recent weeks. Perhaps it’s no surprise that he’s suffered a muscle strain in training and will have to sit this one out. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and the rest will do him good. It’s unlikely that he’ll now be going away with Ireland.

Hyunjun Yang of Celtic celebrates after he scores the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Aberdeen at Celtic Park Stadium on November 12, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

2. Yang Hyun-jun – Not injured but sees out the second game of his two match ban after committing what Kenny Dalglish described accurately as no more than an indirect free-kick offence in the recent controversial match against Hearts. The fall-out from this is set to keep us all interested during the international break.

Celtic’s Callum McGregor reacts during the UEFA Champions League match between Lazio and Celtic Glasgow at the Olympic stadium in Rome on November 28, 2023. Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

3. Callum McGregor – The Celtic captain is a big miss but according to Brendan he’s likely to be back after the break and available for the away trip to Livingston. His achilles/calf strain is something that Calmac often experiences at this time of the season, probably due to the incredible number of matches he plays season after season. Expect him to be on the bench at Livingston and all going well he’ll stay there and return for the huge Glasgow Derby at Ibrox.

Reo Hatate of Celtic celebrates after he scores the opening goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Kilmarnock at Celtic Park Stadium on October 07, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

4. Reo Hatate – A wasted season so far for Reo and how we’ve missed his influence in matches. Brendan confirmed yesterday that he’s on the grass and should be available after the international break. Highly unlikely he’ll be risked on the West Lothian plastic, so it might be a dramatic comeback at Ibrox for the hugely talent Japan international star. Celtic is clearly a better team with Reo playing.

Scott Wright of theRangers is tackled by Maik Nawrocki of Celtic during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and theRangers at Celtic Park Stadium on December 30, 2023. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

5. Maik Nawrocki – The Polish U21 international central defender has had a stop-start debut season which has been plagued by numerous injuries. The current hamstring issue keeps him out today and again he’s probably going to have to sit out the first few matches after the break.

Luis Palma of Celtic celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic FC and Feyenoord at Celtic Park on December 13, 2023.(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

6. Luis Palma – Th Hoduran FA let the cat out the bag on this one, and that seemed to annoy Brendan Rodgers who is working to a shorter timescale than Palma’s national side believe. They did however receive medical advice and scans from Celtic. They say it’s a 3 to 4 weeks lay-off for Luis so anytime sooner is a bonus we’re not really expecting.


The one piece of good injury news yesterday is that Cameron Carter-Vickers is available for this afternoon’s match and is likely to play and also captain the side.

Accordingly Celtic Shorts expect Celtic to line up against St Johnstone as follows:

On the Celtic bench – Bain, Lagerbielke, Kobayashi, Ralston, Holm, Forrest, Kyogo, Oh, Kelly and Vata 

COYBIG! Three points please!  Predicted score – Celtic 3-0 St Johnstone…

READ THIS…No ban on Rangers fans for St Patrick’s Day Derby: “We’ll roll out the green carpet for them,” Caitlin Hayes

And on St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, COYGIG! You can do it!

It’s a big weekend for Celtic at Paradise today and at Airdrie tomorrow. Best of luck to both Celtic teams…

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