The turnaround that Giorgos Giakoumakis has made at Celtic since returning from the winter break has been nothing short of incredible. Many had written the Greek striker off after he endured a difficult start to life at Parkhead, struggling for both form and fitness. But he has looked like a completely different player since the turn of the year, scoring on a consistent basis and adding a lot to this side with his overall play up top as well.
Thus, a lot of Celtic fans will have had their hearts in their mouths when Giakoumakis was forced off the pitch in the game against St Johnstone, just minutes after scoring. It was far from ideal for the Hoops, especially with the Scottish Cup semi-final against the Rangers coming up this weekend, set to be played at Hampden Park.
With Kyogo Furuhashi yet to be fit enough to start games, having spent over three months out injured and only made his return against St Johnstone last weekend, Ange Postecoglou could find himself scrambling for options if Giakoumakis is not fit.
The manager has provided an update on the situation of Giakoumakis and David Turnbull, although he did appear to keep his cards close to his chest, as he has often done when it comes to the fitness of players. As reported by 67 Hail Hail, he said while speaking via Celtic TV:
“Nothing concrete yet. Again, we’re still waiting on the final scans on it. Hopefully it’s not too bad. He feels like it’s not too bad. But until we get the information we won’t know. Similar with David Turnbull, he obviously got a pretty hard knock.
“It’s only a couple of days after so we’ll see how it all settles down. With both, I’m hoping it’s not too lengthy an absence.”
Who would start up top for Celtic if Giakoumakis is out injured vs Rangers?
This is a question that many fans must have started wondering about already. While Giakoumakis has not been completely ruled out yet, that is certainly a possibility. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that Kyogo will start this game. we have already seen if pick up a long-term injury as a result of rushing back from injury and Postecoglou is not expected to repeat that mistake.
Thus, at this point of time, the most likely scenario appears to be Daizen Maeda starting up top for Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final, while Jota and Liel Abada are the two players on the wings.
Maeda has been earning a lot of plaudits for his recent performances but one has to remember that he has not looked at his best while leading the line on his own, instead shining when alongside Giakoumakis.
Thus, it will be interesting to see how Celtic look if the Japanese star indeed turns out to be the focal point of their attack against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, who would be hungry to get a win after losing the previous couple of Glasgow Derbies.
This article was originally posted here