Celtic to face biggest selection headache as Asian Cup schedule is confirmed

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The tournament was initially due to be held in China this summer but it was decided last year that, due to the country's Covid policies, it would be moved to Qatar instead.

As was the case with the recent World Cup, temperatures in the new host nation mean the Asian Cup must take place in winter, midway through many European league campaigns. And it was reported in Qatar on Tuesday evening the competition is set to run from 12 January to 10 February 2024. The Scottish Premiership will be on a winter break for the first two weekends of January but with play due to resume from 20 January onwards, there is clear potential for several Scottish-based players to miss matches for their clubs. Australia and Japan are among the top seeds for the tournament and expected to progress to the knockout phase, which could create issues for Celtic and Hearts in particular. Celtic's Japanese quartet Yuki Kobayashi, Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate, South Korean forward Oh Hyeon-gyu and Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy are among those who could be in contention to feature at the tournament. The Jambos, meanwhile, have three Aussie internationals on their books in Kye Rowles, Nathaniel Atkinson and Cammy Devlin. Hibernian (Martin Boyle, James Jeggo), St Mirren (Keanu Baccus) and Dundee United (Aziz Behich) also have Australia internationals in their ranks.

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