Bangura set to face Celtic

Neil Lennon admits his bid to prevent Mo Bangura lining up against Celtic for Elfsborg in tonight’s Champions League third qualifier at Parkhead (kick-off 7.45pm) has almost certainly been in vain.

The Hoops manager has been strident in his position that the on-loan Hoops striker would be best served not playing against his parent club.

However, the 24-year-old striker from Sierra Leone arrived in Glasgow yesterday for the first leg, with the Swedish club’s boss Jorgen Lennartsson reiterating that he will play if required.

Lennon, is now preparing for a “strange sort of scenario.”

“I am not going to make a big song and dance about it but the reality of it is, there is a big possibility that Mo could play,” he said.

“If he plays, he plays and we are preparing for it as if he is playing.

“I am sure Mo will know plenty about our players but we have plenty of information on Elfsborg.”

Parkhead midfielder Joe Ledley was quoted as saying that if Bangura “scored the winner and knocked us out of the Champions League, then it would be difficult for him to come back”.

Lennon was asked about the nightmare scenario and he recognised the danger.

“We are talking hypothetically so we will cross that bridge if and when we come to it,” he said.

The former Celtic skipper stressed the increase in quality Elfsborg represent in comparison to Cliftonville, the part-time Irish League side the Scottish champions beat 5-0 on aggregate in the previous round.

“They are the Swedish champions with international players, full-time obviously and 17 games into their season so they are match-sharp,” he said.

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