CRAIG GORDON is up for a battle for the No.1 spot at Celtic.

The 36-year-old Scotland international keeper will play against AIK Stockholm in the first leg of the Europa League play-off at Parkhead tonight.

Youngster Conor Hazard will be on the substitutes’ bench with Scott Bain sidelined following a dislocated thumb sustained in last week’s 4-3 Champions League flop against Romania’s Cluj.

Gordon is now likely to face added competition with Fraser Forster about to return to the Hoops five years after leaving in a £10million switch to Southampton.

Ironically, that big-money deal opened the door for the ex-Hearts and Sunderland shotstopper to make his comeback after his career had been in jeopardy following a series of injuries.

Gordon, speaking to The Sun, admitted: “It doesn’t matter who is in here, I want to play. And the only way I can do that is by playing well.

“If he (Neil Lennon) does bring in another goalkeeper, then I’ll need to play very well to make sure I keep my place.

“If I don’t, I’ll have to live with that.

“I’ll happily fight anyone for their place. Not actually fight them! But you know what I mean. Not big Fraser, I wouldn’t fight him for it!

“But, joking aside, that’s the mentality I have, no matter what. I’ll do my best to get in the team, concentrate on myself and my fitness.

“If I’m doing as well as I can and I get picked, great.

“It feels great to be back in. It’s been a while, but it’s what I’ve always wanted.

“It’s unfortunate that Scott has an injury but you are always preparing for that, knowing that the next game could be the one where you get thrown back in.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v AIK Stockholm tonight – only in your champion CQN.

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