Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hopes Daizen Maeda can inject the pace required to put Dundee on the back foot at Dens Park.
Maeda made his first start in six weeks as Celtic bounced back from two consecutive cinch Premiership defeats to beat Livingston 2-0 on Saturday.
Neither Celtic nor Maeda were in spectacular form but it was a comfortable victory in a truly one-sided contest and the Japanese attacker will have benefited from the run-out amid a crucial period.
Celtic will on Boxing Day face a Dundee team who have only lost twice at home this season.
Liel Abada and Reo Hatate will miss out again as they bid to return from injuries, but Maeda’s comeback has given Rodgers some encouragement.
“Daizen got his game time,” the Celtic boss said. “You can see he’s not quite fully fit but it’s another 60-odd minutes and that will help him.
“The game that you want to play, football always looks different if you have got players with the profile and speed, and that’s how this team has been built.
“The minute you take that out, that penetration to go in behind, then of course everything can be in front and that’s not how my teams work.
“You can see the threat he can offer in behind, it puts people on the back foot and puts you into depth, which is where you want to go, because you want to create opportunities. He gives us that and it’s great to have him back.
“When Abada comes back he will give us that and we will see what we can do in January as well to increase that.”
Celtic will be determined to maintain top spot in the cinch Premiership ahead of Saturday’s derby clash after Rangers cut the gap back to two points when they won at Motherwell on Christmas Eve.
Rodgers said: “December’s a real grind of a month – lots of games, not a lot of recovery. But the expectation is to get the results and we fell short of that.
“Saturday we were much more like ourselves. The determination was there in the team, which is what we want to see, and they got the result.
“We are in again on Christmas Day preparing for Dundee and we will look to go up there and get the points.”
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