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Lennon faces anxious wait on key players

Thomas Rogne and and Emilio Izaguirre are both doubts for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Barcelona.

Celtic's Emillio Izaguirre in pain against Dundee United.
Celtic's Emillio Izaguirre in pain against Dundee United.
Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

CELTIC MANAGER NEIL Lennon admitted that several key players were in a race to be fit for Wednesday’s vital Champions League match with Barcelona following the 2-2 draw with Dundee United.

Celtic more than held their own against the Spanish giants in the previous meeting a fortnight ago going ahead before losing 2-1 to a goal in the last minute of added time.

However, Lennon said he had no idea how many of his first choice players would be available for the mouth watering clash in Glasgow.

Celtic sit second in Group G behind Barcelona but are just a point ahead of Spartak Moscow – who are away at Benfica – in third.

Thomas Rogne lasted only 18 minutes of the match against Dundee United before limping off while Honduran international Emilio Izaguirre had to be taken off following a second half fall.

“We are just hoping we can get some players fit,” the Celtic manager admitted.

“Emilio Izaguirre has a hamstring strain and Thomas Rogne went off with a calf injury.

“Gary Hooper, James Forrest and Georgios Samaras are all doubts and we will have to see how Scott Brown is.

“We are starting to pick up some niggles and injuries which is disrupting the flow of the squad at the minute.”

Lennon also refused to blame his players for allowing Dundee United to come back from 2-0 down to take a point. Despite the draw Celtic, who also lost their previous game to Kilmarnock at Parkhead, returned to the top of the table on goal difference from Hibernian.

“We were brilliant today I thought. We didn’t get what we deserved, which was the three points,” Lennon said.

“We should have been a couple up at half-time but when you miss those chances then you always give teams encouragement.

“When we got the two goals, which were two great goals, we just needed to see the game it out and the disappointing thing is we didn’t manage to do that.”

- © AFP, 2012

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