NAT PHILLIPS is preparing for his Celtic Champions League debut in the Group E encounter against Lazio at Parkhead tonight.
The on-loan Liverpool defender failed to make Brendan Rodgers’ matchday squad for the 2-0 loss against Feyenoord in the section opener in Rotterdam a fortnight ago.
Phillips, who joined on a temporary transfer until January just before the deadline, wasn’t risked as he attempted to overcome an ankle injury.
IT TAKES TWO…Liam Scales and Nat Phillips team up against Motherwell at Fir Park.
The centre-back had taken his Hoops bow in the first-half of the 3-0 win over Dundee just three days before the match against the Dutch aces.
Gustaf Lagerbielke was red-carded in the defeat in the Netherlands and the Swede is automatically banned from the visit of the Serie A outfit.
Cameron Carter-Vickers has been added to the pool, but it is unlikely the USA World Cup pivot, who has missed the last seven games with a muscular problem, will be pitched into such a high-tempo confrontation.
Phillips, who came on as a 62nd-minute for Lagerbielke against Motherwell on Saturday, is more likely to line up alongside Liam Scales in the heart of the rearguard.
Matt O’Riley netted a dramatic seventh-minute stoppage-time points-clincher at Fir Park and will be in the midfield as usual as he partners skipper Callum McGregor and Reo Hatate.
DIDN’T HE DO WELL…Matt O’Riley was outstanding throughout at Fir Park.
The Nat and Matt Show could be crucial to the Hoops on another crucial Euro encounter in the east end of Glasgow where Joe Hart will return to goal after missing out through suspension against Well where Scott Bain deputised.
With Benji Siegrist not included in Rodgers’ Euro squad, there is a step up from the B squad for 19-year-old netminder Joe Morrison.
Joe Hart, Scott Bain, Joe Morrison;
Alistair Johnston, Anthony Ralston, Nat Phillips, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liam Scales, Greg Taylor;
Reo Hatate, Callum McGregor, Matt O’Riley, David Turnbull, Tomoki Iwata, Paulo Bernardo;
James Forrest, Yang Hyun-jun, Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Oh Hyeon-gyu and Luis Palma.