The last game that Jota started for Celtic was against Hearts on the 2nd of December, when he had to be substituted in the second-half following a hamstring injury.

It took him a while to recover but he is now back in the Hoops squad, and he has came on in the second-half of Celtic’s last two games against Hibernian and Alloa.

Now with Celtic set to face Hearts again, this time at Tynecastle, the time seems right for Jota to make his first start of 2022 for the Hoops.

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There might be some doubt if Jota can last the 90 minutes due to his lack of game time over the last month plus. But he is more than capable of playing well enough to have an impact on the game even if he can only play for 70 minutes, for example.

It will be a risk starting Jota, especially it is around two months since he started a game for the Hoops. But due to the absences in the Hoops squad then it is a risk that Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou might just have to take.

Jota has been missed by Celtic in his time out of the side, as he provides a threat in both goals and assists. With the likes of Tom Rogic and Kyogo unable to provide those at the moment, Jota may have to become of the leaders in the Celtic side.

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With Celtic having such a hectic schedule over the next few months, it will be interesting to see if Postecoglou perhaps rests Jota for Celtic’s next game, as he is only just back from injury.

If Jota is on the bench against Dundee United on Saturday after starting against Hearts, he could then return to the starting line-up for next midweek’s vital game against Rangers. The Hoops will surely want Jota to start in the Glasgow derby, and that should happen if his game time is managed.

Perhaps Jota can play 60 to 70 minutes against Hearts, and 20 to 30 minutes against Dundee United. That could set him up to play the full 90 minutes against Rangers.

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The club will obviously be careful with Jota as he has just returned from injury, but the time seems right for the player to return to the Celtic starting line-up.

Hopefully Jota can perform to the level that he did for the Hoops before he suffered his hamstring injury. If he can, he will be one of Celtic’s most important players in the second-half of the season.