NEIL LENNON hopes the forthcoming international break does throw his plans into jeopardy as he prepares for the first Glasgow derby of the season when Rangers visit Parkhead on Saturday, October 17.

Celtic stars Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Greg Taylor are all in the Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel a week tonight and the Nations League games against Slovakia three days later and the Czech Republic on October 14.

Steven Gerrard takes his team to the east end of Glasgow three days later for a crucial confrontation.

In addition, the Hoops’ on-loan central defender Shane Duffy will be with the Republic of Ireland, Kristoffer Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi with Norway, while Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed are set to be in the Israel squad for the game at Hampden.

Lennon will already be without winger James Forrest for the visit of Gers who took a nasty ankle knock in last week’s 1-0 Europa League third qualifier victory over FC Riga in Latvia.

The Celtic gaffer is preparing his players in Bosnia for this evening’s Euro play-off against Sarajevo before facing another trip on Sunday, this time to Perth to play St Johnstone in the Premiership.

Asked if he had any concerns about his international players, Lennon, speaking to Sky Sports News, answered: “Yes, massive.

“It’s not just the Scottish boys, it is the Israeli boys, the Norwegians, Shane with Ireland. All our international boys who are going away could be involved in three games.

“That would mean play on the Wednesday, and then travel back on Thursday, with the Rangers game on Saturday, so we would have no time whatsoever on the training ground with them, really.

“And so, yeah, it’s a cause for concern.

“One – picking up injuries. And then two – the little time that we’ll have with them when they come back.”


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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