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RODGERS PRAISES ‘BRILLIANT’ LIVI

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BRENDAN RODGERS has no concerns of Celtic suffering a European hangover when they face Livingston in West Lothan an noon tomorrow.

The Hoops will be fresh from their exhilarating 2-1 Europa League Group B triumph over RB Leipzig at a packed Parkhead on Thursday.

The atmosphere is likely to be a lot more sedate at the Tony Macaroni Stadium this afternoon, but Rodgers will not allow his players to ease up against a team that beat Rangers 1-0 on the same ground in September.

As he prepared his team for a game on the dreaded artificial surface of the hosts, the Irishman said: “We will look to win the game against Livingston and we will have the same attitude.

“We are going to have be good on set-pieces. Livingston have shown that’s a real strength of theirs. We have to be able to defend that.

“They key thing for us is to keep possession of the ball. Livingston like to go direct with it, play forward, long throws, so we have to be able to cope with that.

HEADS I WIN…Tom Rogic after nodding in the opener against Livingston in August.

“But it will be very difficult to replicate that because on an astroturf pitch you can’t play to that level on that surface. We have to find a way to get a result.”

Rodgers also praised Gary Holt’s outfit for how they have performed in the Premiership following last season’s promotion from the Championship via the play-offs that saw Partick Thistle toppled out of the top flight.

He added: “How Livingston have climbed through the leagues has been absolutely brilliant. How they have come through the levels playing a certain style, a certain way, has been impressive.

“They have come in and made a fantastic start. They are very hard to play against, so we expect another tough game. It is all credit to them because they have started very, very well. We know we will have to work very hard to win.”

The champions kicked off their title defence in their quest for their eighth successive title back in August 4 when goals from Tom Rogic, Olivier Ntcham and Odsonne Edouard gave them a 3-1 victory.

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller was player/manager of the visitors at the time, but he was sacked shortly afterwards to make way for Holt.

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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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