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CONFIRMED: FLAG DAY DEBUT FOR ELHAMED

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HATEM ABD ELHAMED and Boli Bolingoli will make their Premiership debuts against St Johnstone at Parkhead this afternoon.

Neil Lennon handed the Israeli international right-back his first start since his £1.2million arrival from Hapoel Be’er Sheva last month while the £3million Belgian left-back was making his third competitive appearance in front of the fans on Flag Day in Paradise.

The Celtic boss makes SEVEN changes from the line-up that beat Nomme Kalju 2-0 in Estonia during the week to reach the third round of the Champions League qualifiers where they will play Romania’s Cluj.

Scott Bain returns between to goal with Nir Bitton partnering Kristoffer Ajer in central defence with the banned pair of Christopher Jullien and Jozo Simunovic dropping out.

Scott Brown and Callum McGregor anchor the midfield, with James Forrest and Mikey Johnson in the wide berths and Ryan Christie in the middle. Odsonne Edouard got the nod to lead the attack with Leigh Griffiths dropping to the bench.

The comeback Bhoy will be in the company of Craig Gordon, Anthony Ralston, Scott Sinclair, Jonny Hayes, Olivier Ntcham and Lewis Morgan.

In five encounters against the Perth Saints last season, the eight-in-a-row champions claimed SIXTEEN goals with Forrest netting six, four in the 6-0 destruction of Tommy Wright’s team at McDiarmid Park in October.

TEAM: Bain; Elhamed, Bitton, Ajer, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Johnston; Edouard. Subs: Gordon, Ralston, Sinclair, Hayes, Ntcham, Morgan, Griffiths.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v St Johnstone this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

 
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