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ERIK OKAY FOR EURO CRUNCH

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ERIK SVIATCHENKO is likely to be fit for Celtic’s Champions League crunch against Lincoln Red Imps despite suffering a head injury in the 2-1 win over Wolfsburg yesterday.

The Danish defender came off with a knock during the first half after clashing with visiting goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

Rodgers played 18-year-old Kristoffer Ajer alongside Eoghan O’Connell, with Efe Ambrose, at fault for the goal in Celtic’s shock 1-0 defeat in Gibraltar on Tuesday, one of 10 changes after the interval.

After goals from Callum McGregor and substitute Ryan Christie gave Rodgers victory in his first home game as boss, he removed any fears concerning his limited defensive options ahead of the return meeting with Lincoln.

Rodgers said: “He’s okay although he has spoiled his good looks for a few days, but he is fine.

“There was obviously a clash of heads and he was a bit swollen below the eye, but apart from that he is fine.”

Regarding reported interest in Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan, Rodgers added: “The only time I would speak about a player is when he comes in here. Young Jon Flanagan is a player I know very well, but there is no update on any player.”

The Hoops boss was equally evasive about the team’s possible opponents in the third Champions League qualifier.

If, as expected, the Hoops get through against Lincoln, they will play Astana, of Kazakhstan, or Zalgiris Vilnius, of Lithuania, in the third qualifying round.

Rodgers said: “The only concentration is on the next game. The object is to come out on Wednesday at the end of the game and be through to the next round.

“If we get through in that, and we expect to go through, we will look to the next challenge.”

Midfielder Nir Bitton was missing with a problematic hip flexor, but Rodgers conceded he is more than covered in that area of the pitch, as Stefan Johansen could return to training tomorrow after overcoming an ankle complaint.

He said: “I don’t need to worry about losing a midfield player, I think we have another 20 to pick from.”

 
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