Celtic’s Daizen Maeda and Callum McGregor in running for Old Firm derby returns

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Daizen Maeda and Callum McGregor could both face Rangers at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

Maeda could feature despite playing for Japan on Tuesday, while McGregor has made a surprise return to training following a facial injury.

McGregor went off with a facial knock and concussion after a collision with an Alloa player on January 22 and there were fears the Celtic skipper might have suffered a fracture which could rule him out for a lengthy period.

But the Scotland midfielder is closing in on a comeback.

“Cal trained with the team today, but I’m not really sure about tomorrow,” Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said in his media conference on Tuesday. “I’ll make a decision on that later.”

Maeda came on in the 68th minute of Japan’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Saudi Arabia in Saitama, which finished just before lunch-time on Tuesday UK time.

“We’ll see how he is,” Postecoglou said. “He gets in (Wednesday) morning. He played 20 minutes, I haven’t seen the game and we haven’t spoken to him.

“I will probably have a chat with him when he lands and see how he feels. He definitely won’t start, but he has a chance for the squad. We will just see how he is.”

Postecoglou had resigned himself to being without Tom Rogic before Australia kicked off against Oman at 4pm on Tuesday UK time.

Postecoglou said: “Tommy will play (for Australia). He will play 90 minutes so you can pretty much rule him out.”

The midfielder started in Muscat but ended up playing 62 minutes.

Nir Bitton is suspended for the derby clash after being sent off in Celtic’s last-gasp win over Dundee United on Saturday, which moved them two points behind champions Rangers at the top of the cinch Premiership.

Postecoglou reported no other comebacks, with midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi still struggling with an ankle knock and Kyogo Furuhashi, David Turnbull and Albian Ajeti all missing with hamstring injuries.

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