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Ange Postecoglou provides injury update on two Celtic players ahead of Real Madrid clash

Ange Postecoglou provides injury update on two Celtic players ahead of Real Madrid clash

Celtic head coach Ange Postecoglou has confirmed that star striker Kyogo Furuhashi is available for Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with holders Real Madrid, but defender Carl Starfelt will miss out due to injury.

Furuhashi was withdrawn in just the fifth minute of last weekend’s comfortable 4-0 win against Old Firm rivals Rangers after sustaining a shoulder injury following a collision with John Lundstram.

However, the 27-year-old Japan international has since been spotted training at Lennoxtown with the first team on Monday morning, with his issue not as serious as first feared.

Starfelt was another who picked up an injury against Rangers as the centre-back was forced off just before the hour mark with a knee “niggle”.

Unlike Furuhashi, the Swede was not involved in first-team training and Postecoglou has revealed that he is set for a “couple of weeks” on the sidelines.

📽️ @ChampionsLeague Training at LXT.

The Bhoys prepare for the visit of @realmadriden 👊#UCL | #CelticFC🍀

— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 5, 2022

Speaking at a press conference on Monday about both Furuhashi and Starfelt, Postecoglou said: “[Furuhashi] trained this morning and looked okay.

“He’s available. I make the decision whether he’ll play or not, but in terms of him training and doing everything in training, he was fine.

“On the weekend, Carl Starfelt hurt his knee. We don’t have an exact diagnosis, but it’s nothing too serious but will probably keep him out for a couple of weeks.”

Summer signings Moritz Jenz is the most likely candidate to replace Starfelt in the starting lineup, joining Cameron Carter-Vickers at centre-back.

Celtic have made a perfect start to the new campaign, winning each of their opening seven Scottish Premiership matches and scoring 25 goals in the process.

The Hoops will now turn their attention to their first Champions League fixture in five years against 14-time winners and current holders Real Madrid, who they last faced back in the 1979-80 European Cup quarter-finals – losing 3-2 on aggregate.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou celebrates after the match on September 3, 2022© Reuters

Postecoglou, who will become the first Australian to manage in the competition’s history, insists that he will not change his style of play for Wednesday’s encounter and wants his players to take the game to Los Blancos in front of a sell-out crowd at Parkhead.

“There’s no point playing football a certain way and then, when you get the opportunity to measure it against the best, you shy away from it,” Postecoglou said.

“You could go out there tomorrow and limit the damage and might get a win playing a different way, but have you really tested yourself? I don’t think you have.

“We go out there tomorrow night being the football team we have been to this point. Then you’ve got a real measure of where you’re at.

“If we’re short of where we need to be then we go back, dust ourselves off, work at it again and get a bit closer next time.”

Celtic have only lost one of their last 23 competitive matches on home soil across all competitions, but they have lost eight of their last 10 Champions League games against Spanish opposition.

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