NEW Bhoy Moritz Bauer, who arrived at the Hoops on a season-long loan from Stoke City in midweek, could be catapulted into the first team for Sunday’s Premiership clash with Rangers at Ibrox.
The Austrian right-back wasn’t registered in time to be part of Neil Lennon’s Europa League squad before the 4-1 win over AIK Stockholm in Sweden last night to secure a place in this afternoon’s group stages draw in Monaco.
However, the Hoops boss admits he has a problem in the No.2 position with Kristoffer Ajer limping off after only 15 minutes against the Swedes with Anthony Ralston taking his place.
Worryingly, the towering Norwegian defender has now come off in three games in this campaign after a shoulder injury in the 2-1 Betfred League Cup extra-time win over Dunfermline and a leg knock in Sunday’s 3-1 triumph over Hearts.
Hatem Abd Elhamed, signed for £1.2million from Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the summer, is definitely out of the match against Steven Gerrard’s outfit with a hairline fracture.
And Odsonne Edouard sparked fears when he, too, limped out of the action against AIK 14 minutes from the end.
Lennon, speaking to the club website, admitted: “Kris is a worry, he’ll be a major doubt for Sunday.
“Odsonne’s fine, it’s just cramp, so we’ll wrap him up in cotton wool. He should be okay. He’s playing brilliantly, leading the line brilliantly and he’s a very important player for us. Bayo came on and did a great job for us.”
The Celtic players were given a well-earned day off today, but they will be back on the training ground again tomorrow.
The Parkhead gaffer added: “There’s no respite, there’s just a few days now until the next one. We’ll get them well-rested and recovered. psychologically that’ll give them a huge boost going into Sunday.”
Goals from James Forrest, Mikey Johnston, Christopher Jullien and Lewis Morgan handed the Hoops a 6-1 aggregate triumph over the Swedes as they racked up their third victory on their travels this term with previous successes against FK Sarajevo (3-1), Nomme Kalju (2-0).
The other away tie ended 1-1 against Cluj in Romania before Lennon’s men crashed to a disastrous 4-3 defeat in Glasgow.
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