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Celtic dealt potentially major blow ahead of Old Firm clash

Celtic have been dealt a potentially major blow ahead of their upcoming Old Firm clash in February.

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In recent comments cited by The Sunday Post, the technical director of Japan’s international side, Yasuharu Sorimach, revealed that he will be presenting a special case to the Japanese government in a bid to convince them to allow Kyogo Furuhashi to enter the country in order to play in Japan’s crucial World Cup qualifying fixtures against China and Suadi Arabia on January 27 and February 1.

At present, Japan have restrictions in place which ban all overseas visitors from entering their country, however, should Sorimach be successful in making an exception for the Celtic centre-forward, and the 26-year-old does link up with his international side at the end of next month, it would subsequently rule him out of contention to feature in the Bhoys’ rescheduled Old Firm clash on February 2.

Speaking about Kyogo’s situation, Sorimach said: “The Japanese government should know the significance of our participation in the World Cup in Qatar. I believe we will negotiate various conditions for the games against China and Saudi Arabia. It is imperative we have our best squad for the game. At the moment, I am praying, and keeping an hourly watch on the [pandemic] trends.”

Could Celtic beat Rangers without Kyogo?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Fans will be outraged

Considering just how important a part of the Celtic side Kyogo has become since his £4.6m move to Parkhead this summer, the news that the striker could miss out on what is undoubtedly one of the Hoops’ biggest games of the season as a result of international duty is sure to have left fans outraged.

Indeed, over his 14 Premiership appearances this season, the £1.8m-rated man has already scored eight goals, registered two assists and created four big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.2 shots and making 1.2 key passes per game.

These returns have seen the £18k-per-week forward average a SofaScore match rating of 7.07, ranking him as Ange Postecoglou’s 10th-best performer in the top flight of Scottish football.

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Furthermore, the Japan international has bagged a further eight goals and three assists over 12 outings in the Europa League, Europa League qualifying and the League Cup – taking the 26-year-old’s total to 16 strikes and five assists in just 26 outings for Celtic.

As such, being without the services of Kyogo in the Old Firm clash will undoubtedly come as a major blow to the Bhoys’ chances of taking all three points from the fixture – something that could all but end Postecoglou’s hopes of securing the Premiership title come next May.

In other news: Huge blow: Celtic dealt further injury setback ahead of Saints, Ange will be fuming

Article title: Celtic dealt potentially major blow ahead of Old Firm clash

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