Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lennon rues fitness setbacks

Scottish Football Blog, Billy McNeill, European Cup winning captain, Celtic
Celtic’s hopes of continuing to play in Europe after Christmas already look bleak in the football betting odds but they might have become even less likely after Kris Commons picked up a hamstring injury and Scott Brown was handed a three-match ban.

Having already been beaten by AC Milan and Barcelona, a Champions League double-header against Ajax would appear to give Neil Lennon’s side the chance to gain at least third spot in the group and an opportunity to play in the Europa League in the new year. But full back Mikael Lustig, is also a major doubt for the visit of the Dutch side to Glasgow after sustaining a hip injury during Sweden’s World Cup qualifier against Austria, which forced him to sit out his country’s 5-3 home defeat to Germany.

Adam Matthews is out for three months with a shoulder injury so Lennon’s right-back options are extremely limited.

According to betfair, the 42-year-old former Leicester City midfielder said: "We have two very good right-backs who may not be fit for the Ajax game.

"Mikael's hip locked against Austria. He does have hip and groin problems and we will have to manage him during the week. Efe Ambrose had played international football at right-back so he is a possibility."

Dutch winger, Derk Boerrigter, is still struggling with an ankle complaint and he is unlikely to be back for the game against his former club, who have only picked up one point from their first two Champions League group encounters.

Joe Ledley's fitness might not allow him to play the full game although Emilio Izaguirre has recovered from illness.

Lennon has also revealed that the club will be appealing against the three-game European suspension imposed by UEFA on Brown following his red card in the Champions League defeat by Barcelona.

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