Celtic fans continue to break out the violins as the prospect of several key players missing the Old Firm clash with Rangers has many at the Parkhead club sweating.
Much has been made about the rearranged Celtic Park match-up which is now set to take place on February 2nd after the winter break was moved forward.
But despite Celtic feeling the benefit of a bolstered squad through January signings and players returning from injury, the move could yet backfire.
This is because there is a non-European international break set to take place during that period with Celtic’s four Japanese players and Australian first-teamer Tom Rogic all potentially set to miss out.
Rangers too could be without the likes of Joe Aribo (Nigeria), Kemar Roofe (Jamaica) and Alfredo Morelos (Colombia) for the clash but if there’s anyone whining, it’s of a green and white persuasion.
That said, despite rival fan fears over the game, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou suggested the Parkhead club will not ask for a further postponement.
“That falls into the department of stuff that I don’t really think about. It’s not a problem yet,” said Postecoglou [Scottish Sun].
“I could spend hours thinking about it and what we were going to do and strategise and have meetings on it — then, in the end, find out that only one gets selected. I’m not going to worry about that.
“We’ll plan as we always have, that when we lose players to international duty we’ll crack on and play the games we need to play.
“At the moment, there’s no point even thinking about that. As it stands, none of the players have been selected, so until that happens we’ll look at it then.”
Could Celtic break out the violins ahead of crunch Old Firm Rangers clash?
If Celtic were to seriously push for the game to be rescheduled then they would likely miss three Scottish domestic fixtures as a result, such is the length of the international break.
But should that happen Rangers fans will waste no time in reminding the Parkhead club of comments made by Postecoglou on the subject when the game was initially rescheduled.
Postecoglou rejected the notion Celtic would push the fixture back when asked on the subject in December, lamenting “violin playing” in Scottish football.
“If they get called up they will be. There is a lot of violin playing around the place, we are not going to be one of them,” said Postecoglou [Scotsman].
So why is there so much bleating from their own fans about it?
Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst rejects Old Firm rearrangement suggestion
As for Rangers, Ibrox manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst was clear that he fully expects the Old Firm match with at Celtic Park to go ahead, suggesting Rangers be pragmatic no matter the circumstances.
Also pointing to the fact a Covid-ravaged Rangers dumped Celtic earlier in the season, the Dutchman got the Ibrox sentiment on the matter across in his usual composed and classy style.
Amid claims there is no more room to play the fixture, GVB even suggested a rearrangement of the Old Firm is “impossible”.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re not thinking about postponing the fixture,” said van Bronckhorst [Rangers].
“We know the international calendar is coming up, we might lose some players as well. But that’s the way it is, we have to take it as it comes.
“In the window, it’s not just one game, there are three games that have to be played in the window. That’s, I think, impossible because of course with bringing the break forward.
“The association also said it was difficult and that there was no space for postponing games so that will make it difficult as well. You never know how you have to prepare for games.
“Rangers had the first Old Firm, they missed their first and second goalie, they missed their coach, some other key players.
“You never know what the situation will be. As a coach, you have to handle every situation and that’s what I’m doing to do when the game comes.”
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has also been giving a squad update on several key players ahead of the return of Scottish Premiership action.