STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Celtic striker Maeda to miss Rangers match after Japan call

Japan have named their squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Celtic striker Maeda to miss Rangers match after Japan call SNS Group
Maeda scored on his Celtic debut against Hibs.

Celtic will be without striker Daizen Maeda when they face Rangers after the player was called up by the Japan national team.

Japan face China and Saudi Arabia in World Cup qualifiers in the next two weeks and Maeda was named as part of Hajime Moriyasu’s squad.

The player’s compatriots Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi have not been called up and will be available for Ange Postecoglou, while Kyogo Furuhashi is suffering from a hamstring complaint and will be out for several weeks.

Maeda will miss matches against Hearts and Dundee United as well as the derby at Celtic Park.

Celtic could be short of options in attack for key games with Albian Ajeti sidelined through injury though Giorgos Giakoumakis has returned to fitness and came off the bench against Hibs.

Postecoglou will also be without Tom Rogic, who has already been named in the Australia squad for their Qatar 2022 qualifiers.

Speaking on Friday, the Celtic manager said that he would be pleased for any of his Japanese players who were called up and the same applied to Rogic.

“I’m not disappointed,” he said. “[Tom] is selected for his national team because he’s a hell of a player. I’d be disappointed if he wasn’t selected.”

Rangers will also be affected by international football for the derby on February 2. Joe Aribo is currently with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, while striker Alfredo Morelos has been called up by Colombia for their forthcoming matches against Peru and Argentina.