Celtic set for major injury boost as £4m man to return for Rangers showdown

The latest injury news ahead of the crucial Premiership title clash between Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers.
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A potentially decisive meeting of Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers is now just days away - and there has been some good news on the injury front for the visitors ahead of the Ibrox showdown.

Brendan Rodgers has already welcomed back Reo Hatate into his squad ahead of Sunday's 3-0 win at Livingston and captain Callum McGregor is also back in contention after spending the last five weeks on the sidelines after suffering an Achilles injury. However, the former Liverpool and Leicester City manager is now set for a third boost as winger Luis Palma rapidly approaches a return to full fitness and looks to be in line for a recall for Sunday's game.

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The Honduras international has not featured for Celtic since he made a late substitute appearance in a 7-1 hammering of Dundee in February after suffering a muscle injury in training. SunSport have now reported the £4m man is 'ahead of schedule' in his bid to return and will be involved in training ahead of the visit to Ibrox. Should Palma come through those sessions, the winger will be included in what is expected to be an almost full-strength Celtic squad as Rodgers' side look to land what could be a decisive blow in the Premiership title battle.

Meanwhile, John Beaton has been named as referee for Sunday's Old Firm clash. The appointment comes just a month after Hoops boss Rodgers branded the official as 'incompetent' after he made a number of contentious calls during his role as Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Celtic's 2-0 defeat at Hearts last month.

Rodgers said after the loss at Tynecastle: "I try to respect decisions and give the benefit of the doubt. But I think when I see that level of incompetence, which is the only word I can use, then that makes me worry for the game. In such a tight title race that can make the difference. I also think that VAR is not the problem here. That’s clear. It’s competence. The sending off when there is no force. Show a still image of that and of course and you will see a foot up with the head near it, but it’s not the reality of the move.

“Don got it actually right on the field. It was a high boot, so it’s a yellow card – no malice or force. For John Beaton to actually look at that in VAR, supposedly under no pressure, and say that was sending off? I find that incredible. The second one is worse. If you have a penalty go against you for that then there will be penalties every single weekend and midweek."

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