Celtic are finally back in action tomorrow evening with an SPFL clash against Hibernian at home for their first league match of 2022.
Speaking to the media ahead of the match, Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou shared some injury news that will surely have a lot of Celtic fans pleased and excited to see their team playing again.
Postecoglou revealed that Celtic winger Jota could make a return to action on Monday after being out injured since early December with a hamstring issue.
He is back in training and now very much ready to join up with the squad again. Whether he starts, however, is another matter.
Since joining the Parkhead club on a loan deal from Benfica, the 22-year-old has managed to score eight goals and provide six assists in 18 appearances across all competitions, showing just how much of a useful attacking outlet he has been for the team this season and why the fans would be delighted to see him back in the side on Monday if he’s fit enough.
In addition to his goals and assists this term, Jota’s performances in the SPFL have been very impressive as well with WhoScored listing him as Celtic’s fourth-highest rated player with an overall rating of 7.48/10, highlighting just how well he has settled into the team and got to grips with the Scottish Premiership.
Taking all of this into account, it’s safe to say that Celtic would have a great chance of beating Hibs on Monday if they have Jota in their team.
However, given how long it’s been since he last played for the Hoops and how important he’s proved himself to be for the team, it may not be worth Postecoglou taking the risk of putting the Portuguese winger back in the team straight away unless he’s 100% fit and ready to play with no risk of further injury to his hamstring.
Although, with Celtic currently six points off the top spot in the SPFL table, it could be worth taking a gamble with the forward if that will give them the best chance of securing all three points and moving further up the table.
Either way, this match will be a great way for the Hoops to get back into the swing of things and start their year off positively.