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AJER SETBACK FOR CELTS

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KRISTOFFER AJER is almost certainly OUT of Celtic’s delayed Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen at Hampden on Sunday.

The Norwegian international defender limped off in the 53rd minute of the 2-2 draw with Lille in last night’s dramatic Europa League Group H encounter in France.

Ajer went down with a groin injury shortly after the interval and it was obvious he would not be able to continue. The Hoops were leading 2-0 at the time with first-half strikes from Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Nir Bitton, making his first appearance since testing positive for coronavirus while on international duty with Israel earlier this month, came on and could keep the position against Derek McInnes’ Pittodrie outfit.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Losing Ajer was a blow because we were looking so comfortable at that stage.

“He felt his groin go, so it’s not great by the looks of things. I would think he’s a doubt for Sunday.

“I think we played really well. First-half, we were outstanding and I thought on the counter-attack we could have won the game.

“The only disappointment is that we conceded again from a set-piece.

“That’s something we talked about endlessly and we have to deal with them better when they come into our box.”

Ajer is the latest Celt to be hit with the injury jinx with Christopher Jullien, James Forrest and Mikey Johnston all struggling with a variety of problems.

Bitton’s fellow-countryman Hatem Abd Elhamed could return for the last-four clash as he, too, is ready to return after testing positive for the virus.

DRAMA AS HOOPS HOLD ON AFTER TWO-GOAL ADVANTAGE

 
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