NEIL LENNON is 90 minutes away from guiding Celtic through to a last-16 place in European competition for the first time since 2013.

The Europa League encounter against FC Copenhagen at Parkhead on Thursday night is delicately balanced at 1-1 after last week’s dramatic first leg in the Danish capital.

Odsonne Edouard gave the Hoops the lead as the visitors dominated the first-half, but the game changed after the interval when Dame N’Doye equalised and Fraser Forster was brought into action to make a heroic penalty-kick save from Jens Stage.

However, the Hoops boss may have to go into this week’s return with the influence of skipper Scott Brown and his midfield partner Olivier Ntcham.

Both missed yesterday’s 3-1 win over Kilmarnock that saw the champions rocket 12 points ahead in the race for their ninth successive crown.

James Forrest was also sidelined for the third win this season over the Rugby Park outfit – coincidentally, all by the same scoreline of 3-1 – but the Scotland international winger should be okay for the Euro test.

Looking ahead to Thursday, Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Jamesy should be fine, but we will have to wait and see with the other two.

“Olly has a bit of a calf strain that he has been playing with for the past two games and we didn’t want to risk him.

“Thursday is huge. It’s Celtic Park under the lights. It’s something for the players to look forward to against a very good side. There’s no question Copenhagen are good and we were very good on the night, as well.

“The game could have gone either way.

“We have to be mindful of not conceding, obviously, and try to create chances ourselves. It should be a good game.”

The Irishman will need no reminding the team achieved a 1-1 draw against Cluj in Romania in the Champions League qualifier in August and then disastrously crashed 4-3 in Glasgow to exit Europe’s elite competition.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author