CHRISTOPHER JULLIEN is odds-on to make his Celtic competitive debut in Estonia on Tuesday.

The Frenchman became the most expensive defender in Hoops history when he made the £7million switch from Toulouse in the summer.

However, his only appearance for the team has been his 55 minutes of action in the goalless friendly against French Cup winners Rennes in Glasgow 12 days ago.

Neil Lennon has resisted the temptation to push Jullien into the side with the towering centre-half just slightly behind his new team-mates in his pre-season preparations.

He missed out on the benefit of the three-match work-outs in Austria and Switzerland and the Irishman has gone with Nir Bitton beside Jozo Simunovic in the heart of the rearguard for the three European ties against FK Sarajevo, 3-1 win in Bosnia and 2-1 victory at home, and last night’s 5-0 triumph over Nomme Kalju in the first leg of the Champions League second qualifier.

Lennon, speaking to the club website, has admitted he will be looking to make changes for the return in Estonia.

He said: “I can’t ask any more of the players. I thought the second-half we were very good. We took a bit of time to get going, but once we got the goal we really went for it.

“We got five goals, a clean sheet and that’s a nice luxury to have. We can perhaps have a look at the wider squad over there now.

”I’m pleased and a lot of hard work goes into it, as well. Looking ahead, again, we have another week’s work and we’ll be sharper and fitter. The competition will be stiffer in the next round, but we still must travel to Estonia next week.”

Comeback Bhoy Leigh Griffiths, with his first goal this year, Ryan Christie (2), Kristoffer Ajer and Callum McGregor were the marksmen as the team set up the debut opportunity for Jullien.

Craig Gordon, Anthony Ralston, Jonny Hayes, Scott Sinclair and Olivier Ntcham are other players who may come into the Celtic manager’s thoughts before he turns his focus on Cluj or Maccabi Tel Aviv at the third hurdle with the Romanians holding a 1-0 lead over their Israeli opponents after last night’s first leg.


About Author


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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