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Celtic may have 'psychological boost' in title race

Celtic fan's voice
Celtic fan's voice

Celtic returned to the top of the table at the weekend and will be there for at least the next 10 days or so as a downfall in Dundee put paid to Rangers’ Sunday plans.

The postponement could provide a psychological boost for the Hoops in the title race with league chiefs now scrambling to reschedule that fixture into an already congested calendar.

Whether the game is played before or after the Old Firm clash on 7 April remains to be seen but either way it’s a headache that Phillipe Clement could do without.

For Celtic, however, all they can do is focus on their own fixtures. It’s a mantra Brendan Rodgers continues to repeat and, on that basis, the only show in town for now is the next game against Livingston on the last day of the month.

Until then this latest international break provides an ideal opportunity for further rest and recuperation of certain players as Celtic look to return all guns blazing in their quest to retain the title.

The USA national team has agreed to allow Cameron Carter-Vickers to continue managing his rehabilitation at Lennoxtown during the break, whilst suggestions are that Reo Hatate will step up his own recovery by taking part in a bounce game in the coming days.

An appearance on Livingston’s plastic pitch may be a risk that Rodgers is unwilling to take with the Japanese star, but could we see a morale boosting return in time for the crunch match against Rangers seven days later?

Alongside Carter-Vickers and Hatate of course, the huge hope in the camp is that skipper Callum McGregor will also be available for the title push having now missed the last three games.

His influence in the Celtic dressing room is clear to see and though we can manage certain domestic games without his presence, it's clear the manager will be desperate to see him line up at Ibrox – a place where he’s seen it and done it on a number of occasion during his 400+ appearances in the Hoops.

In the rough and tumble of a title race that looks like it could go down to the wire, a lot of fans may be frustrated by the interruption of an international break at this time.

However for Celtic it could be exactly the kind of reset we need as we target a third consecutive title, led by a trio of players who know exactly what it takes to lift the Scottish Premiership trophy.

On that basis, relax, enjoy the upcoming internationals if that’s your kind of thing, and we can then return to the real stuff in just under two weeks’ time.

Tino can be found on The Celtic Exchange.