NEIL LENNON is in line for a hat-trick of good news as he prepares his Celtic team for 10 crucial games before the winter break.

The crocked trio of Mohamed Elyounoussi, Jonny Hayes and Mikey Johnston are all on their way back and could even be in contention for the Betfred League Cup Final against Rangers at Hampden a week on Sunday.

The on-loan Southampton left-sided forward sustained a foot injury while on international duty with Norway and missed the 4-0 weekend win over Livingston at Parkhead.

Hayes had to be replaced shortly after the interval against Gary Holt’s side with Greg Taylor, the £2.25million purchase from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day, coming on for only his second Hoops appearance.

The versatile Republic of Ireland international popped his shoulder before coming off.

And Johnston has been sidelined since the 2-0 victory at Ibrox at the start of September.

Asked about Hayes, Lennon, speaking on Celtic TV, admitted: “He’ll have a scan this evening and we’re hoping that it’s just a muscle injury. If that’s the case then we’re hoping that he should be good to go in the next week or so.

“We’ve got a couple coming back now. Mikey Johnston is training again and we’re hoping that Mohamed Elyounoussi will be training by the end of the week. So, fingers cross that Jonny’s isn’t as bad as first feared.”

Scotland international Taylor is standing by to make his European debut when the champions take on Rennes in the Europa League Group E encounter in Glasgow on Thursday if Hayes doesn’t make it.

Mortiz Bauer is ready to play on the opposite flank with Jeremie Frimpong unavailable and Israeli Hatem Abd Elhamed still recoving from a groin strain.



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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