Brendan Rodgers fears Saturday cup tie gives Hibs advantage

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes the tie should have been scheduled for Sunday. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes the tie should have been scheduled for Sunday. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has criticised the scheduling of his club’s Betfred Cup semi-final against Hibernian which will see them play the tie next Saturday lunchtime, three days after their Champions League tie in Germany against Bayern Munich.

Rodgers had hoped the Scottish champions would be allocated the Sunday slot and added that timing plays into the hands of Hibs manager Neil Lennon.

“I’m sure Lenny [Lennon] will be delighted because it can make a huge difference,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers admitted Celtic had made no representations to the SPFL or broadcaster BT Sport about the possibility of playing on the Sunday.

“I was assuming, which was maybe a mistake of mine, that common sense would come into it and that the team who were playing in a high level game in Germany on the Wednesday night would play on the Sunday instead of an early kick off on a Saturday.

“We are certainly not helped by it. I believe [the reason] is TV. I was very, very surprised. They could have been kinder to us but we have to get on with it.”

Lennon said Hibs planned to take full advantage of Celtic’s tough schedule. “Any advantage we can take from it, we will have to,” the Easter Road manager said. “They’ll be playing in Munich on the Wednesday night and then only have maybe a day and a half to recover. We are going to try and make the most of that. The mental and physical approach… it’s really difficult… subconsciously with players you are up there with the Champions League and then you dip after the game.”