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Celtic 23-year-old could be unlikely hero in crunch semi-final v Rangers

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Jozo Simunovic hasn’t had the best of seasons for Celtic, but he could become an unlikely hero should he start the upcoming Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

The 23-year-old started the season well, but a dreadful performance in the 4-0 loss to Hearts in December saw him lose his place in the team to Kristoffer Ajer.

Simunovic was then in and out of the side before returning to the team for the Old Firm derby at Ibrox last month, where he was sent-off for an elbow on Alfredo Morelos.

Normally you would think the player would have no more chances left at the club after those errors, but with the Hoops having defensive issues he may be given a chance to redeem himself.

Marvin Compper seems to be out of favour with Brendan Rodgers despite only signing for the Hoops in January, Jack Hendry is ineligible for the cup tie and the Hoops boss has finally lost patience with Dedryck Boyata, who was substituted at half-time – for tactical reasons – in the recent win over Ross County.

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These issues at the back are likely to give Simunovic another chance to prove that he is a good defender, and his partnership with Ajer could be solid if the Bosnian has a good day.

If Simunovic excels in the semi-final, he still has a future at the club, but if he is at fault on the day, there could be no way back.

In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers was upset at a challenge on Scott Brown in the Ross County game

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