The 13 Celtic first-team stars on international duty and when they're playing

By David Walton

May 30, 2022

Celtic may only be just over a fortnight on from our fantastic trophy day success over Motherwell, but already as many as 13 of our first-team players are now on international duty.

The likes of Joe Hart, Reo Hatate, and James Forrest may be getting some respite for the time being, but the competitive action is already about to get back underway for many. That’s due to the fact a host of Celtic stars are involved in crunch World Cup playoffs and Nations League games over the next 2 weeks.

And here, we take a look at all 13 of them as well as who and when they’ll be playing.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Firstly, as many as 4 of our stars will be preparing for a big camp with Scotland. Indeed, Greg Taylor, Anthony Ralston, David Turnbull, and Callum McGregor will all be involved with Steve Clarke’s side in what could be a historic period for the country.

Scotland open up their schedule with a World Cup playoff semi-final against Ukraine on June 2nd. Victory there and they’ll face Wales in Cardiff 3 days later for a shot at Qatar. After that, Armenia at Hampden on June 8th will be followed by a trip to Ireland on the 11th. The camp will then conclude with a visit to the Armenians on the 14th as the Scots look to make a positive start to their Nations League campaign.

Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi, meanwhile, are heading off with the Japanese national team. Hajime Moriyasu’s side have already booked their spot at Qatar 2022. They’ll therefore be focusing on 2 friendly matches before the Kirin Cup.

Japan will host Paraguay on June 2nd before a glamour friendly with Brazil on the 6th. The Kirin Cup kicks off on the 10th with Kyogo and Daizen set to take on Ghana. Victory in that one would set up a final against either Chile or Tunisia on June 14th. Should they lose against the Ghanaians, Japan will still have to face the loser of the other semi-final.

Celtic well represented on a global scale as international fixtures kick-off

Giorgos Giakoumakis is set for a starring role with Greece with their 4-game schedule starting on June 2nd and ending on the 12th. They’ll face Northern Ireland, Kosovo [x2], and Cyprus in that run.

Elsewhere, it’s a tasty-looking Croatia card for Josip Juranovic. He’s involved in 4 Nations League matches with games against France coming up on June 6th and 13th respectively. They’ll begin by hosting Austria on the 3rd with a trip to Denmark pencilled in a week later.

Liel Abada will be looking to make his impact with Israel and looks set to make his first start for his country on Thursday night against Iceland. A trip to Albiania follows on June 10th with the return game vs Iceland 3 days later. Again, all fixtures will be in the Nations League.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

As for Carl Starfelt, he has a right to be excited about the Sweden camp. The Swedes are struggling with an injury crisis ahead of a 4-game schedule. He looks primed to face the likes of Slovenia on Thursday and Norway 3 days later. Sweden will then host Serbia before facing the Norwegians again to round off their Nations League matches for the summer.

Over in the USA, Cameron Carter-Vickers is looking to make a late push for Qatar 2022. The USMNT have already qualified, with manager Gregg Berhalter giving Cameron a chance to show his worth in the June camp. They have 2 friendly matches against Morocco and Uruguay on the agenda for the 2nd and 5th respectively. They’ll then have their own CONCACAF Nations League matches against Grenada [June 11th] and El Salvador [June 15th]. A huge opportunity could present itself here for CCV.

Finally, the only stars Celtic have on under-21 duty are Matt O’Riley [Denmark] and Stephen Welsh [Scotland]. Coincidentally, both are in the same Euro qualifying group too. The Danes have a double-header against Kazakhstan on June 4th before they face Scotland on the 10th. Welsh, meanwhile, will first tackle Belgium on the 5th before he meets his Celtic teammate.

Hopefully, there are plenty of international opportunities to go around for the Celtic stars this summer. And fingers crossed they come back injury-free with pre-season looming at the end of June.

In other news, Celtic man Carl Starfelt’s Sweden chance looks imminent after Man Utd star’s injury