Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested that Scott Brown’s return could happen this week.

The Hoops have a crucial and tough double-header away to Aberdeen and Rangers. That will end what’s been a roller-coaster first-half of the season for Celtic fans.

If Rodgers’ men were to come out of the two matches with six points combined, it would send supporters into the Winter break delighted. To do that, however, the team selection simply has to be spot on for both matches.

Scott Brown has been in and out of the Celtic team this season (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

And the Hoops manager has given his biggest hint yet that captain Brown will play a key role in both games. Speaking in the Daily Record, he said the following on his main man.

“There is no doubt that in the big games he makes the big contribution. That is why he has played 500-odd games.

“He is an important player for that. He came back at a good time. He was able to come in and contribute in the cup final.

“Now it is just a case of managing him through some of the games to make sure he is at game speed for this last week.”

Clear suggestion that Brown will start this week

The fact that Brown was missing in the team to face Dundee was pretty telling. But combine that with the fact that Rodgers wants him up to “game-speed” for the last couple of matchs shows exactly what Rodgers is trying to do.

If Rodgers had no intention of starting his captain in any of the final matches, he simply wouldn’t have said how he wants him fit.

The big question at this point, however, is just who drops out for the captain? Ryan Christie is a certain to start if fit, and his impressive cameo against Dundee will only have heped him. Tom Rogic will miss the Old Firm game, but is highly likely to start at Pittodrie.

Will Ryan Christie be forced to miss one of the two games due to Brown’s return? (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Of course, it could be the case that Rodgers has his eyes on Brown starting against Rangers alone. There’s no way of fitting the Celtic captain in the same side as Christie, Rogic, and Callum McGregor. The only way that could be done is if McGregor went out on the left, but Scott Sinclair is a Rodgers favourite and is highly likely to start both matches.

In any case, Brown is likely to start at least one of the two matches this week. If he plays both, it means Christie surely won’t.

Perhaps Rodgers also has a trick or two up his sleeve that none of us have spotted. Regardless, it’s looking good for the captain ahead of a hectic week.

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