Celtic v Hearts preview: Charly Musonda could make Hoops debut
Last Updated: 30/01/18 7:50pm
Charly Musonda could make his Celtic debut against Hearts at Parkhead on Tuesday night in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership after completing his loan move from Chelsea.
The 21-year-old arrived in Glasgow on Monday morning to sign an 18-month loan deal with the club following a medical.
Musonda, a Belgium U21 international, has made seven appearances for the Premier League champions this season since returning from a loan spell at Spanish side Real Betis.
"Subject to a medical today, it is a really exciting prospect for the club," Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers said. "Charly is a big talent that I've known for a few years now.
"Firstly, if it all goes through, it is a big thank you for Chelsea because he is really one of the shining lights within the academy and has progressed through with various loans out and obviously has been part of the first team squad."
Hearts ended Celtic's 69-game domestic unbeaten run with a 4-0 win in December but Rodgers has been pleased with how his side have responded.
Counterpart Craig Levein believes Celtic will have a point to prove given the nature of the victory at Tynecastle.
"The last time we faced Celtic was a perfect moment," he said. "A lot of things collided to make that game one we were capable of winning.
"We scored at the right time, the pitch wasn't in the best of condition, Celtic didn't capitalise on the opportunities they had - so all those things went together to help us win.
"It did give us confidence and it will give us confidence going to Celtic Park tomorrow but it will be a very, very difficult task.
Craig Gordon (knee) has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks and Leigh Griffiths will miss the next four weeks with a calf strain.
New signing Marvin Comper is still unavailable after he picked up a calf injury during the mid-season break in Dubai.
Tim Rogic, Patrick Roberts, Stuart Armstrong, Anthony Ralston and Jonny Hayes all remain sidelined due to injury.
Striker Kyle Lafferty returns to the Hearts squad following suspension.
Prince Buaben has returned to training after injury, but Malaury Martin, Rory Currie and Ashley Smith-Brown remain sidelined.
- Celtic's 56-game unbeaten run in the Scottish Premiership was ended in their last fixture against Hearts, a 4-0 humbling at Tynecastle. Craig Levein's side scored as many goals in that match alone as they had managed in their previous seven league meetings with Celtic combined.
- That win was Hearts' first over Celtic in the top flight since October 2011, ending a run of 18 clashes without beating them (D2 L16). They haven't beaten Celtic in back-to-back league games since August 2006, and haven't done so within a single season since the 1999/2000 campaign.
- The Bhoys remain unbeaten in 41 league ties at Celtic Park (W33 D8).
- Hearts stretched their league unbeaten run to 11 games with a 1-1 draw at home to Motherwell last time out (W4 D7). In fact, this is the first time they've managed such an unbeaten run since January 2011.
- Leigh Griffiths has scored three goals in his last four league games for Celtic, after having not scored in his previous six games in all competitions.