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JULLIEN’S RACE AGAINST THE CROCK

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CROCKED Christopher Jullien faces a determined fight to be fit for Celtic’s crucial confrontation with Steven Gerrard’s side at Ibrox on Saturday.

The French central defender is struggling after being stretchered off in the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Parkhead yesterday, as CQN reported.

With the Hoops leading 2-0 through strikes from Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull, Jullien prevented a certain goal only minutes into the second-half when he raced back to scoop a Marc McNulty shot off the line with keeper Vasilis Barkas stranded.

Jullien’s momentum carried him into a post where he clattered his left leg and there was an almighty crash on the point of contact. He received treatment behind the goal, but when it was obvious he would not be fit to resume, Neil Lennon sent on Nir Bitton as a 51st-minute replacement.

The centre-back was wheeled away for treatment on a swollen knee and is rated extremely doubtful before this weekend’s derby.

Boss Lennon saw Odsonne Edouard score his first league goal from open play since his hat-trick against Hamilton Accies at the start of the season in August to make it 3-0 and afterwards, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “All round, it’s been a good day, apart from losing Christopher, so we’ll need to see how he is.

“He has impacted the knee on the post, it’s quite a heavy one.

“At the moment, there’s a bit of swelling, but just now I’m not ruling him out or in.

“It would be a big blow if Christopher was out of the Rangers game because of the way we want to play. We’ll have to assess him over the next couple of days. But again we’ve got Nir Bitton, we’ve got Shane Duffy.

“We’re okay in terms of cover, but Christopher’s a big-game player and we’d like him fit if possible. Our confidence is good, although we’re not getting carried away.

“Rangers is a tough game and they are in good form. So, it’s a great challenge for us.”

THREE AND EASY – AND THEN JULLIEN SCARE

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