Rangers bleating backfires as Celtic face two key Old Firm absences
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Rangers bleating backfires as Celtic face two key Old Firm absences

Whilst much of the talk in Rangers circles is about who the Ibrox side could be missing for the rearranged Old Firm derby, Celtic also face losing two of their key players to international duty.

Rangers are counting the cost of a decision to bring the winter break forward following the introduction of government proposals that limit crowd sizes to 500 people.

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Australian attacking midfielder Tom Rogic and Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi have undoubtedly been amongst Celtic’s most effective players this season but both are doubts for the Rangers clash.

This concerns the fact that both players are expected to be on international duty with their countries taking part in crunch World Cup Qualifiers ahead of next year’s winter tournament in Qatar.

With the match now set to take place on the 2nd of February, Australia face Oman in the Middle East on the 1st of February whilst Japan have a match against Saudi Arabia on home soil on the same day.

View the fixtures HERE.

Given both Tom Rogic and Kyogo Furhashi are key players for their countries, they’ll be expected to play and as a result will likely miss the Rangers game.

Celtic would’ve had plenty of other Old Firm absences for Rangers clash in January

Celtic will balance this situation with their current problems, Ange Postecoglou facing a string of hamstring injuries heading into the match with Rangers prior to the fixture change.

The likes of Portuguese winger Jota, midfielder David Turnbull and winger James Forrest head up a list of high profile injured players.

Rangers too are likely to be missing a host of key first team players for the Old Firm match v Celtic with as many as six players potentially set to be absent from the February clash.

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As this story explains in greater detail, Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun and Calvin Bassey could miss out due to AFCON duties with Nigeria whilst Kemar Roofe, Scott Arfield and even Alfredo Morelos could miss out due to their own international expectations.

Rangers face off against St Mirren at Ibrox on Boxing Day in the final game before the winter break with Buddies boss Jim Goodwin suggesting the SPFL broke rules to put the match on.