Celtic team news: Maeda 50/50 as Ange Postecoglou provides squad update ahead of Hearts

By John McGinley

March 11, 2023

Celtic winger Daizen Maeda’s chances are “50/50” when it comes to featuring in today’s match squad against Hearts in the Scottish Cup, Ange Postecoglou has confirmed.

The Bhoys boss was speaking in a pre-match media conference yesterday. Maeda suffered a knee knock as he bravely dived in to scored Celtic’s equaliser against Robbie Neilson’s side on Wednesday night and was replaced by Jota.

The Japanese’s situation has improved since then but he hasn’t trained in the wake of that Celtic Park win. The good news is that the rest of the squad, apart from James Forrest, are available for today’s Scottish Cup clash.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Postecoglou provides Celtic squad update for Hearts match

Postecoglou said [Celtic YouTube]: “From the other night, the only issue obviously is Daizen, who it’s fair to say has improved. He didn’t train on Friday. We are still working with him. He is doing some physio stuff, but he has improved and we’ll see how he is ahead of the game. It’s fair to say he’s kind of 50/50 for it. Everyone else who played and the ones who didn’t play are all fine and ready to go.”

Forrest is out until after the upcoming international break after suffering a muscle injury in training last week, but the manager has plenty of other wide options today even if Maeda is also missing.

Jota and Liel Abada are both contenders to start while Sead Haksabanovic is also looking sharp at the moment. He scored a wonderful late goal on Wednesday night and will be eager to impress further at Tynecastle.

After making four changes to his team mid-week, it is expected that Postecoglou will bring back Alistair Johnston into his eleven as well as Greg Taylor.

The eleven should have the main core of the team that has been winning so consistently over the last few months. With Hearts also bringing some key players back into the equation, it’s all set up for an exciting and competitive 90 minutes in the capital.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou lauds ‘brilliant’ Sead Haksabanovic after Celtic win vs Hearts.