Brendan Rodgers confirms Celtic return vs Hearts

Celtic FC v St. Johnstone FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Celtic FC v St. Johnstone FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Moving forward, every match is pretty much a must-win for Celtic. At least that is what they should be viewing these upcoming games as. There is the Scottish Cup final against the Rangers at Hampden Park later this month. But the league matches might be even more important for Brendan Rodgers' side. The next one is against Hearts.

Celtic have had a tough time against Hearts this season. So, they cannot make the mistake of taking this one lightly. We know that they are a team who can get the better of the Hoops on their day.

The positive is that Celtic have looked much better in recent times and have not lost since early March, which was incidentally away against Hearts. This time around, the Hoops will be the ones doing the hosting.

Getting three points on the day is vital. And the good news for Celtic is that they will have Daizen Maeda back available. As tweeted by Sky Sports Scotland, Rodgers said about the Japanese forward:

"He will come into the squad for the weekend. So, it’s great news for us. Thinking that he was maybe not going to be available was the initial thinking, medically. But he’s recovered remarkably well and I think we all see that he’s a specimen physically. So he’s got back and it’s obviously brilliant news for us.”"

Brendan Rodgers confirms Celtic return vs Hearts

Maeda has not featured since the game against the Rangers at Ibrox, in which he managed to score an early opener. There were initially fears that the Japanese forward was going to miss the rest of the season.

But thankfully, he has been successful in recovering much earlier than anticipated. It remains to be seen if he has a part to play against Hearts. It might be too early to hand him a start but an appearance off the bench cannot be ruled out.

Maeda's return comes at a great time with the next Glasgow Derby not far away. It will be an even more important one and there is the possibility that Celtic could clinch the title on that day, if the results play out.