KRISTOFFER AJER is banned and will miss Celtic’s vital Champions League return game against AEK Athens on Tuesday, as CQN reported last night.

The towering Norwegian was booked in the 1-1 stalemate at Parkhead and that will keep him out of the tie at the Olympic Stadium.

That was his third yellow card in the qualifiers after two cautions against Rosenborg and that has brought an automatic suspension.

Ajer has played in all five of the qualifiers and Brendan Rodgers will be forced to change his central defensive partnership against the Greek champions.

The Hoops boss said: “I don’t think we want to lose any of our centre-halves. We will have to look at Dedryck Boyata to see where he is at and Jozo Simunovic is available, as well.

“It is unfortunate because Kris has been great for us.”

Boyata, who was given an extra break following his participation with Belgium in the World Cup Finals, returned to training last week.

There is a chance he could make his first appearance for the champions in Saturday’s Premiership encounter against Hearts at Tynecastle, a ground where he scored an excellent header in a 3-1 win near the end of last season.

The Greeks will be without defender Konstantinis Galanopoulos next week following his red card after two bookings for second-half fouls on Tom Rogic and James Forrest.

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