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Celtic v Juventus: Neil Lennon hails healthy squad

Neil Lennon was glad his players returned from international duties without injury. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray

Neil Lennon was glad his players returned from international duties without injury. Picture: SNS/Bill Murray

Celtic manager Neil Lennon today received a boost ahead of the Champions League clash against Juventus when his international players returned free of injury.

• Efe Ambrose doubtful for first leg as Nigeria in African Nations Cup final on Sunday.

• Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre were already concerns due to injuries.

Hoops boss Lennon reported a healthy squad returning from international duties, although yesterday’s action saw Efe Ambrose’s chances of facing the Italian champions on Tuesday drop significantly after he helped Nigeria to the African Nations Cup final.

Lennon tweeted today: “Looks like all the internationals have returned unscathed ..thankfully.”

Ambrose and his Nigeria team-mates will face Burkina Faso on Sunday evening at 6pm UK time, making him a major doubt for the first leg of the last-16 clash at Parkhead, although Lennon previously refused to rule out the versatile defender even if his team made the final.

Lennon already has doubts over striker Georgios Samaras (hamstring) and left-back Emilio Izaguirre (knee) for the visit of the Turin side.

Risk

Charlie Mulgrew played 90 minutes for Scotland - and scored the only goal against Estonia - while Scott Brown got an hour and Kris Commons came on for the final 15 minutes.

James Forrest had returned to Celtic Park as Scotland manager Gordon Strachan did not want to risk the winger on a terrible Pittodrie pitch after he made his return from a hamstring injury against Raith Rovers last weekend.

Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews both started as Wales beat Austria 2-1, while Paddy McCourt came off the bench during Northern Ireland’s goalless World Cup qualifier in Malta.

Israel pair Rami Gershon and Beram Kayal, Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama, Venezuela forward Miku and Sweden defender Mikael Lustig were also away, while defender Thomas Rogne was with Norway Under-21s and Tony Watt and Dylan McGeouch were among Celtic’s Scotland Under-21s contingent.

 

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