Unexpected Sead Haksabanovic bonus for Celtic as Ange confirms Johnston and Mooy status

By John McGinley

May 26, 2023

Alistair Johnston will play in some capacity for Celtic against Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon, Ange Postecoglou has confirmed.

The right-back is known to have returned to training earlier this week. He has come through those sessions without any issues and is in line to feature on the right flank against the Dons. It’s perfect timing ahead of the Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The Celtic manager is also hoping to have Sead Haksabanovic back for the Hampden clash despite limping off in the defeat to Hibernian on Wednesday night. However, there’s unfortunate news on midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Celtic injury update ahead of Scottish Cup Final

Postecoglou told reporters in a media conference today [Celtic FC]: “Johnston is good to go. He’ll play tomorrow and hopefully gets through that. In terms of the cup final we’ll just see. But he’s good to go.

“Aaron Mooy is still struggling with his back complaint, so he’ll miss out against Aberdeen and is probably a doubt for the cup final.

“Sead Haksabanovic, who came off the other night, is not as bad as we thought. He’ll miss tomorrow but we think he’s a good chance for the cup final which is good for him and good for the group. Everyone else, provided they get through tomorrow should be fine for the week ahead.”

Johnston’s imminent return to the Celtic team is the biggest boost we could have received in this late stage of the season, but having Haksabanovic around will be handy too.

Anthony Ralston has been filling in for Johnston on the right flank but hasn’t hit the levels that the Canadian managed in his 18 starts for the Bhoys between January and his injury against Rangers in the semi-final.

Haksabanovic is likely to feature from the bench even if he returns to full fitness, while the manager has options such as Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and Tomoki Iwata to cover adequately for Mooy.

In other news, Report: Celtic ‘run checks’ on £2m English defender Archie Brown.