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Daily Record
Daily Record
Robbie Copeland

Celtic news latest as Kyogo and Hatate Japan snubs branded 'stupid' and McGregor relives flopping as a striker

It's all happening at Celtic as Ange Postecoglou and his team get serious in their pursuit of a potential Treble.

The Parkhead side are racing away like a Cheltenham favourite in the Scottish Premiership and despite Rangers keeping pace since Michael Beale came in, every week seems to see the Hoops take one step closer to keeping the title at Celtic Park. They've already claimed the Viaplay Cup and as for the Scottish, they have learned the date for their semi-final showdown with the Ibrox side.

Outside of that there is plenty more happening. The fallout continues after Reo Hatate and Kyogo were once again overlooked by Japan, with manager Hajime Moriyasu raising eyebrows by claiming it was down to the standard of the league...Daizen Maeda might have a question or two about that. A former Parkhead striker reckons it was plain "stupid" to leave the firing pair out.

Here's all the latest from Parkhead.

Japan boss 'stupid' for Celtic snubs

Frank McAvennie has been left wondering what on earth Japan boss Moriyasu was thinking by leaving Hatate and Kyogo out. They've been two of Celtic's best players and will undoubtedly be in the running for player of the year when it comes to awards' season but they can't seem to get a look in, having also been snubbed for the World Cup.

Moriyasu says his intention is to build a team for the 2026 World Cup but McAvennie told Football Insider it was "stupid" and "baffling." He said: "The manager was saying that he knows what they can do but he is trying to build a team for 2026 but for me it is a bit stupid. If he has got better players than Hatate then they will win the World Cup.

"They have not taken Iwata either who was the best player in the J-League last year. It is a weird one for me that players like that are not in it. It is baffling."

McGregor once a striker flop

There isn't a better midfielder in Scotland than Callum McGregor and it's hard to imagine the Parkhead skipper playing anywhere else. Back in the foundational years of his professional career, though, he was tried out wide and even up top while on loan at Notts County. He admits himself it didn't exactly go to plan...

"I played a striker for a little bit at Notts County, maybe five or six games. I never scored in any of them," he told the Celtic View.

"It was more playing off the side and then I had a spell through the middle for five or six games but I was more used to coming on to the game or seeing the game rather than having my back to the game. I don’t think that really suited me. I was more likely to be on the bench or back in midfield."

Scottish Cup derby date set

Defending Scottish Cup champions Rangers and treble-chasing Celtic will meet at Hampden on Sunday, April 30 in their Scottish Cup semi-final clash.

Viaplay have revealed the Glasgow giants are on for a 1:30pm kick off with Inverness Caley Thistle and Falkirk meeting at the National Stadium the previous day at 12:15pm, in a repeat of the 2015 final, for a place in the June 3 showpiece.

The Old Firm clash will be the second of three derby meetings to end the season with a Scottish Premiership clash at Celtic Park on April 8 and a post-split league fixture at Ibrox. There is even a chance that could see back to back derby games with the weekend after the last four meeting at Hampden the first weekend after the split. It could be pencilled in for that date if it isn't likely to be a title clincher with Celtic currently nine points ahead.

Robertson's favourite Celtic game

Andy Robertson has revealed his favourite game was Celtic's win over Manchester United in the Champions League.

The Liverpool full-back has made it no secret he is a massive Hoops fan and used to watch the Parkhead side when he was growing up in Glasgow. Robertson who featured for Jurgen Klopp's side in their 6-2 aggregate loss to Real Madrid will likely lead Scotland out during their two Euro 2024 qualifiers at Hampden later this month against Cyprus and Spain.

When asked about his favourite ever game, though, he said: "I think it would either be the Liverpool Barcelona game, or it would be the Celtic Man United game at Parkhead when Nakamura scored the free kick and Artur Boruc it saved the penalty from Louis Saha. I was at that game and it was one of my favourite games ever."

Starfelt and CCV injury latest

Sweden boss Janne Andersson has allayed Celtic fears over an injury to Carl Starfelt after he limped out of their Scottish Cup clash with Hearts.

It has been strongly hinted by his nation's national team manager that the defender will be in line for his sixth cap when action gets underway against the Belgians a week on Friday in Stockholm. Providing an update, Andersson said: "The forecast with Carl Starfelt is quite positive. He should be available otherwise I would not have called him."

Meanwhile his central defensive partner Cameron Carter-Vickers might have pulled out of American contention due to an injury at Celtic according to one former US international - but another isn't having it.

Popular former international Jimmy Conrad reckons it could be down to Carter-Vickers pulling up injured, asking fellow US hero Charlie Davies 'Do you think he turned it down? Maybe he is hurt?' Davies can't believe the centre-back isn't involved but does not buy into the theory presented by Conrad, adding: "The glaring omission for me is Carter-Vickers.

"His manager came out after the last performance and said he's the best performer at Celtic and in the league. Why would you turn it down?

"I don't think he turns it down, I think it's 'I am legit injured, I picked up a knock in training, some sort of muscular problem.'"


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