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FULL STRENGTH CELTIC READY FOR ABERDEEN CHALLENGE

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BRENDAN RODGERS has close to a full squad for Celtic’s Premiership encounter against Aberdeen at Parkhead tomorrow afternoon. This will be the Irishman’s first home league match in charge of Celtic and he will be targeting 3 points against the side that will provide Celtic with the biggest challenge in the league this season.

Celtic have already won away to Hearts, who finished third last time round and a win against last season’s runners up Aberdeen will give the Celtic manager a great start to his first league campaign.

Mikael Lustig may revert to right-back in place of Saidy Jako and Eoghan O’Connell, rested on Tuesday, or Erik Sviatchenko could partner Kolo Toure in the middle of the defence.
Only Gary Mackay-Steven is unavailable as he continues his recovery from close-season ankle surgery and fit again Paddy Roberts is likely to feature.

Rodgers said: “It’s a very big game. It brings to an end this first phase of competition which has been incredibly busy.unspecified-8

“We have played about 15 games already, so this brings that to an end and we want to end it with a win.

“We love playing at home, we hope for a full house which creates a great atmosphere and we hope we can get a good result.”

The Dons have proved to be difficult opponents both at Pittodrie and in Glasgow in recent seasons and Rodgers is expecting it to be no different on this occasion.

He added: “They’ve got good players, been building over the last few years and Derek McInnes is an excellent coach.

“Derek has done well coming here, they’re very well organised and will work very hard.”

McInnes accepted that his side will be underdogs, but expects his players to be fully up for the fight.

He said: “Our league record at Parkhead is always mentioned, but it doesn’t change our approach and our recent record is reasonable.

“There’s a responsibility for us to try and win every game and that will be no different this time.

“Celtic will be overwhelming favourites, but it’s a game our players are relishing. It’s a challenge, if we get it right on the day we can get the result.”

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