5 things we spotted at Celtic training as Liel Abada shows his twinkle toes and Albian Ajeti returns


Having stormed to the summit of the Premiership and shown the quality to stay there, Celtic now set their sights on the Scottish Cup.

Raith Rovers are hardly going to Parkhead in good shape after the shambolic signing of David Goodwillie and the subsequent U-turn.

However, maybe it will galvanize the Championship side as they head to Glasgow’s East End.

Celtic faced the Fifers earlier in the season and it was an easy night as they ran out 3-0 winners in the Premier Sports Cup.

They scored all of their goals in the first half through Jota, Liel Abada and David Turnbull – and Rovers had David Zanatta sat off.

Albian Ajeti made a rare outing in that game back in September and he could get another one on Sunday with Ange Postecoglou looking to freshen the squad.

Here are five things we spotted at training.

Yab Abada doo!

Liel Abada has been a sensation for Celtic since signing in the summer with a remarkable scoring return.

The Israeli has slammed 14 goals but he has also created 11 for Ange Postecoglou’s side making an incredible impact that has been so pivotal to Celtic’s success.

Liel Abada looks like he's got his dancing shoes on at Lennoxtown
Liel Abada looks like he’s got his dancing shoes on at Lennoxtown. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

And he was keen to show his team-mates some fancy footwork as they got down to work at Lennoxtown today ahead of their last 16 Scottish Cup clash with Raith Rovers on Sunday.

He certainly got a smile from Daizen Maeda and his teammates.

Cares not a Jota

‘So Tom, let me tell you about my two goals at Pittodrie…..’

But it looks like Celtic’s wizard of Aus, Rogic is not particularly interested in hearing what Jota has to say!

The two men have been crucial to the surge of Celtic since the return of football after the winter break.

Tom Rogic and Jota during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Tom Rogic and Jota during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown, on February 11, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

Rogic, of course, slammed his own double last weekend as Motherwell were demolished 4-0 and he was able to sit on the bench at Aberdeen – apart from a cameo at the end – and watch his Portuguese mate hog the headlines.

It’s a scary thought for if they are both involved on Sunday, but you would imagine they would be rested.

In from the cold?

Many people felt that Celtic would cut their losses on Albian Ajeti in the January window after the Swiss striker found himself way down the pecking order.

But on a chilly day at Lennoxtown, could Ajeti be ready to come in from the cold?

Albian Ajeti during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Albian Ajeti during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown, on February 11, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

It’s odds-on that Ange Postecoglou will utilize his now considerable squad this weekend, especially as European football beckons again next week.

The Aussie coach will want all of his big hitters to take on Bodo/Glimt as Celtic look to secure a lead at Parkhead to take to Norway the following week.

Keeping under wraps

There is no doubt it can be cold in Japan in the winter in certain parts of the country, but Reo Hatate was feeling the Scottish winter at Lennowtown.

Hatate, of course, has been red hot since his arrival at the beginning of the window showing wonderful energy, skill and shooting ability.


Few could have imagine a bigger impact than fellow countryman Kyogo Furuhashi but Hatate has been a sensation – especially with two goals in the Old Firm clash.

However, he was making sure he was protecting himself from the elements as he prepared for Sunday’s cup tie.

Where’s my hat?

James Forrest doesn’t make too many bad decisions as his trophy-littered Celtic career glaringly indicates.

But he clearly forgot something when he ran out to training – he should have grabbed that beenie like so many other of his team-mates.

James Forrest during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 11: James Forrest during a Celtic training session at Lennoxtown, on February 11, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group)

Having said that, maybe it was Jota rambling on about his goals again and he just wanted to shut out the noise.

Whatever the deal, you would think James is in with a shout of getting a start against Raith Rovers




www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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