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NO MORE GIFTS FROM GORDON & CO

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CRAIG GORDON hopes the Celtic defence become soccer Scrooges and stop giving away cheap goals to European opposition when RB Leipzig visit Parkhead on Thursday night.

The Germans overcame the Hoops 2-0 in the RB Arena almost a fortnight ago after netting two goals in four first-half minutes.

Gordon was left exposed and helpless on both occasions as Eboue Kouassi missed a right-wing cross for the opener and Cristian Gamboa charged into a reckless tackle and lost out to present the second following a delivery from the left.

The Scotland international keeper admits his team-mates cannot afford to be so generous against the Bundesliga outfit this time around.

He said: “It’s something that’s happening now and again to us.

“There was a bit of good fortune in that the ball fell right to their guys in the middle of the goal. They had free shots at it for both goals.

“It was bitterly disappointing we didn’t defend them. The way they play, they get players in the box, so they are there to take those chances.

“And when it comes down to it we didn’t defend them. That’s something we will need to cut out.”

Brendan Rodgers’ side go into the game three points adrift of the big-spending Germans and a win is a priority in front of the Hoops support if the team have ambitions of playing European football next year.

RB Salzburg, who have already beaten Celtic 3-1 in Austria, are leading the group on nine points, but have yet to visit Glasgow with that last-game encounter scheduled for December 13.

Before that, the Hoops are due to visit Rosenborg on November 29. Maximum points would almost certainly see the Scots through to the knock-out stages of the competition.

But Gordon will remind his defenders, despite Christmas coming up fast, not to give away any free gifts on Thursday night in the east end of Glasgow.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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