BRENDAN RODGERS believes tomorrow’s International Champions Cup-tie against Barcelona in Dublin will be the ideal preparation for Wednesday’s European crunch qualifier with Astana at Parkhead.
The Celtic boss is considering introducing latest signing Kolo Toure against Lionel Messi and Co at the Aviva Stadium for the 6pm kick-off
If the 35-year-old former Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool central defender comes through the meeting with Catalan superstars, he will come into contention for the Astana encounter, with the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after Wednesday’s game in Kazakhstan.
Rodgers is expected to rest several players after the gruelling six-hour journey to and from Central Asia, but feels the exercise will be hugely worthwhile ahead of a such a massive European fixture.
He said: “I didn’t think it was fair to ask Kolo to come straight out to Kazakhstan the day after signing. He is a very fit individual, but he needed to do some work with the team.
“Now he has had a good week’s training this week. We will see what he is like for the weekend. I think there’s a good chance that he can be involved in the games against Barcelona and Astana because of our injury situation.”
Rodgers also praised 20-year-old Eoghan O’Connell, who made his European debut in midweek and he may give him more game time against Barca.
He said: “Young Eoghan has done fantastically well since he has come in to the first team. He reads the game very well and has a very cool head for such a young player. He has been given an opportunity and he has taken it.
“He played very well in difficult circumstances and will benefit from games like this against top-class European opposition. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
BECAUSE IT IS GOOD TO LAUGH AT RANGERS – BOTH OF THEM!
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