Eoghan O’Connell is set to make a return to first-team action for Celtic tonight as they bid to keep their European hopes alive in Germany.
The Hoops take on Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany looking to add to their solitary Group C point after three fixtures.
After losing left-back Kieran Tierney last week with ankle ligament damage, they will have to do it without another three key players as Kolo Toure, Jozo Simunovic, and Leigh Griffiths with a combination of injury, fatigue and illness, and Rodgers is expected to turn to former Cork City man O’Connell alongside Erik Sviatchenko.
Toure had been struggling with a thigh problem and missed Saturday’s win over Aberdeen but the absence of Simunovic is a big surprise. The Croatian kept his fourth clean sheet in a row alongside Sviatchenko for the 1-0 Premiership win at Pittodrie.
Manager Brendan Rodgers indicated after the game that the pair would be his regular partnership but assistant Chris Davies has said that the 22-year-old would not be risked in a second game in four days after returning from an eight-month knee injury lay-off in September. Griffiths is ill while Celtic were already without left-back Tierney, who suffered an ankle injury in training last week.
“Kolo has been injured for a little while so he’s still not available,” said Rodgers.
“Simunovic we have been managing his games, and with it being so close to Saturday’s game, too tight a turnaround. Leigh took ill on Sunday morning. He didn’t train with us.”
Celtic were beaten 2-0 by the German side a fortnight ago with the visitors more than worth their win.
The former Swansea and Liverpool boss said: “They are a very good side.
“We are taking a couple of jumps up to that level. At this level there are very few opportunities and you have to take them but whilst remaining very solid and super competitive.”
The former Liverpool boss said: “It is going to be a tough game for us. We didn’t play so well in the last game and they probably played at a level they haven’t played at for a number of weeks but, with that in mind, if we don’t make errors we can still take something from the game. It is about putting in a performance away from home and if we do that then we know we have a possibility of getting a good result.”
Borussia Monchengladbach coach Andre Schubert will not underestimate the Scottish champions.
“Celtic are a dangerous team because they have nothing to lose,” Schubert said. “They can afford to take risks.
“They have players like (Mousa) Dembele who we need to keep a close eye on. I’m confident, though, that we have the quality in our side to beat them again tomorrow.”
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