Celtic and Hibernian are very most likely to be without key players to get vital Scottish Premiership derbies next week after they were termed in Australia’s squad.

They are going to be designed for their nightclubs’ fittings on 26 December.

Nevertheless, a Australian Football Federation spokesman told BBC Scotland they cannot play 29 December.

“This really is two days over the Fifa regulation and was communicated with all clubs,” he said.

“It ensures some players get an extra match in to their own nightclubs and enjoy Christmas with their friends and family in your home.”

They’ll then be expected to travel to Dubai to join with the Australia squad heading to the United Arab Emirates, with the Socceroos starting their effort against Jordan at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium at AlAin on 6 January.

Celtic, that came back to the top of the desk by beating Motherwell on Wednesday, travel to Ibrox to manage second-top acquaintances Rangers on 29 December, while eighth-placed Hibernian sponsor Hearts from the Edinburgh derby.

Since Hibs have three players involved in the Australia squad, they are eligible to ask the Scottish Professional Football League for the postponement of the game against Hearts.

However, it is understood that, on this occasion, they’ve decided against this.

The Premiership passes its winter break following a derby fittings until 23 January, however the nightclubs possess Scottish Cup fourth-round tie four days earlier in the day and likewise have league games scheduled until the Asia Cup final on 1 February.

Hibs sponsor Elgin City from the Cup before league games against Motherwell, St Mirren afterward, a day following the Asia Cup final, Aberdeen.

Holders Celtic beginning their Scottish Cup effort against Airdrieonians then face league games against St Mirren, Hamilton Academical and St Johnstone before again meeting the latter in Perth on 3 February.

Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic


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