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Celtic optimistic of having Callum McGregor back vs Livingston

Celtic’s start to the new season has been a topsy-turvy affair as the Hoops look to adapt and transition to Ange Postecoglou’s way of life.

The beginning of his tenure has been a bumpy ride with some free-flowing football but defensive mistakes aplenty at Parkhead.

He did oversee their exit from the Champions League, but after significantly improving the playing staff available to him, they qualified for the Europa League.

Their group stage campaign got underway in midweek but they tasted defeat in what was a dramatic encounter with Real Betis. Celtic went 2-0 up before they succumbed 4-3 to La Liga’s sixth-best outfit from last season.

The Glaswegian side travelled to Seville without a plethora of first-team names. Liel Abada was missing due to religious reasons while Kyogo Furuhashi is set to miss the next month through injury.

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However, one of the biggest losses was in the form of Callum McGregor who had picked up a small knock. Fortunately, Postecoglou hopes to have him available when they face Livingston on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “We’ll see how Callum McGregor is, but we’re optimistic he’ll be available.”

If that sense of optimism becomes a reality, then the skipper’s return to the squad will be absolutely massive for Celtic.

He has starred so far this season, scoring an all-important goal against Midtjylland and taking on the captaincy duties with great effect.

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The midfielder has also been in supreme form for Scotland, putting in a display which was described as his ‘best’ in international colours when they beat Austria earlier this month.

However, the most important aspect of McGregor’s game is his leadership and ability to calm things down. How Celtic could have done with his words of wisdom in the middle of the park when Betis began to fight back last Thursday night.

With him in the team, he may have been able to settle the nerves and grab the bull by the horns as they attempted to batter away a wave of opposition pressure.

Livingston should be an easier ride this weekend but despite that, McGregor’s potential return is a welcome boost for the club. The manager will no doubt be delighted at the captain’s swift recovery.

AND in other news, Move over Bitton: Ange has a rising star in “powerful” rarely-seen 19 y/o at Celtic…

Article title: Celtic optimistic of having Callum McGregor back vs Livingston

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