Brendan Rodgers does not rule out Celtic return ahead of Derby

Hibernian FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Hibernian FC v Celtic FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Celtic might not have been at their best but they did manage to get a 2-0 win against Livingston, taking home the all-important three points. The Hoops had suffered back-to-back defeats in the Premiership coming into this game so they needed to end that streak and thankfully were successful in doing so.

The first-half performance was disappointing once again, as we went into the break goalless. Whatever Brendan Rodgers said to the players at half-time did work though.

They scored two early goals after the break. Kyogo found the back of the net, which is a promising sign, as the Japanese forward has struggled this season. Liam Scales also got his first goal of the campaign. Luis Palma provided both assists.

While not the greatest performance, hopefully the win will boost the confidence of the players heading into the game against Dundee FC and then the Glasgow Derby. There could potentially be further good news before that.

Rodgers does not rule out Celtic return ahead of Derby

Reo Hatate is another player who has not been at his best since the appointment of Rodgers. But in his absence, the manager has not been able to find a solution to his midfield issues either.

It looks like Hatate is closing in on a return to fitness. As reported by The Scotsman, Rodgers said on the midfielder's chances of playing before the January break:

"Possibility but we have to see on that.

“He's been on the grass, been working well looks strong and fit just have to assess and weigh up the risk which is the key one."

So, it looks like there is a possibility that Hatate could be available for the upcoming game against the Rangers. Let's wait and see how things turn out.

In his absence, the midfield has seemed to lack a balance. The likes of Paulo Bernardo, David Turnbull and Tomoki Iwata have all gotten their chances, but none of them brings the complete game in the middle of the park that Hatate does.