Celtic turn their attentions away from the Premiership tonight as they prepare to face Dundee United in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup.
The Hoops travel away from Parkhead for this clash as they look to seal a place in the final four of the competition in their hunt for the domestic treble.
Ange Postecoglou’s side won 3-1 last time out in the league as they beat Livingston away from home. Daizen Maeda, an own goal from Nicky Devlin and a strike from James Forrest secured the three points.
One player Postecoglou must unleash for this game after naming him on the bench against Livi is attacking midfielder Reo Hatate.
The cup competition offers the head coach an opportunity to rotate his team and offer more minutes to players who did not play in the last Premiership match, which is why the Japanese midfielder must now come into the XI.
Since joining in January, he has had a big impact on the side with an average SofaScore rating of 7.09 in ten league outings for the club. He has chipped in with three goals and two assists, whilst averaging 1.0 key passes per game and completing 78% of his attempted passes overall.
Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn dubbed him “outrageous” in February and A-League writer Sacha Pisani claimed that he “oozes class” and his statistics back up the high praise. He has shown that he can be a difference-maker for the Hoops and that is why he should be reinstated into the team for this clash with Dundee United.
The £14.5k-per-week wizard could be the player who opens the door in the final third and scores or creates the goal that secures Celtic’s place in the semi-final.
Bringing him in also allows Postecoglou to axe Tom Rogic from the side. He put in a frustrating display against Livingston and handing him a rest for this clash may allow him to reset and get back to his best for the next Premiership game.
As per SofaScore, he failed with six of his nine attempted dribbles, lost 11 of his 19 individual duels and only created one chance against Livi despite having 67 touches of the ball. This shows that he was largely ineffective in his attempts to make things happen in the final third and that is why he must be taken out of the team for Hatate tonight.