Ange delivers Nir Bitton and Josip Juranovic Celtic fitness latest ahead of derby

By John McGinley

April 29, 2022

Nir Bitton has returned to Celtic training after missing the last two matches, Ange Postecoglou confirmed in a press conference today.

Bitton missed the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers and the trip to Dingwall to face Ross County.

However, he’s again closing in on a spot in the match squad after rejoining the group at Lennoxtown.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Postecoglou also confirmed Josip Juranovic won’t be available for Sunday’s clash, still missing as a result of the injury sustained at Hampden two weeks ago.

Bitton’s return is a boost to the manager’s midfield options. Postecoglou has heavily praised the Israeli international this season for what offers.

Bitton has made 36 appearances in total this season, 19 of which have come from the start of matches. If he’s included on Sunday then he’s a strong candidate to come off the bench in the second half.

Callum McGregor strikes the perfect tone as excitement builds for a huge Sunday at Celtic Park

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Callum McGregor strikes the perfect tone as excitement builds for a huge Sunday at Celtic Park
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Postecoglou’s initial midfield selection is likely to be more attack-minded with Callum McGregor and two of Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley, Tom Rogic and David Turnbull involved.

However, Bitton is the kind of player and character who can come into a match and calm things down if we need it, or if the plan is to move McGregor further up the pitch.

Sunday aside, having him for the remaining matches of the Premiership season is also a boost. Hopefully Juranovic won’t be too far away.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant Celtic response to question about rivals’ Europa League run.