Rumour Mill: Messi doubt | Scotland win | Old Firm build-up

Lionel Messi is a doubt for the Champions League, Scotland get off to winning start against Malta and the latest news ahead of Saturday's Old Firm clash between Celtic and Rangers.

Lionel Messi is a doubt for Barcelona's upcoming match against Celtic

Messi a doubt for Champions League

Lionel Messi fears that his groin strain could force him out of the start of the Champions League campaign.

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The Barcelona ace picked up the injury during Thursday’s 1-0 win for Argentina over Uruguay and will miss tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.

There are conflicting reports this morning about the extent of the injury which won’t be fully diagnosed until it is assessed by Barcelona’s medical team. Celtic visit the Nou Camp in eight days time. (Various)

Scotland begin World Cup qualifying campaign with win

A so-called new Scotland exhibited an old trait of making their supporters suffer before securing an ultimately handsome victory against Malta, who finished the match with nine men. (Scotsman)

Kranjcar coming into form - Warburton

Rangers manager Mark Warburton believes summer signing Niko Kranjcar is finding his rhythm just in time for Saturday’s derby against Celtic. Kranjcar scored a spectacular long-range goal in Rangers’ 7-0 friendly victory over Linfield on Saturday after taking time to adjust to life in Glasgow. (Scotsman)

- Josh Windass and Martyn Waghorn could play in Saturday’s derby having had successful run-outs against Linfield

- Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar says he loves “fierce rivalries as long as there is no violence or hatred”

- Former Celtic manager Ronny Deila wishes he could have led the team against Rangers at Celtic Park and is considering joining his father in the stands as a fan on Saturday

Gordon predicts 4-way title race

Craig Gordon has predicted a four-way battle for the Scottish Premiership title in what he believes could be one of the most enthralling domestic campaigns in recent memory.

Gordon anticipates both Aberdeen and Hearts will also have a significant say in the outcome of a title race which has already had a galvanizing effect on season ticket sales for all of the main protagonists. (Scotsman)

Statue bid for Lisbon Lions in Saltcoats

Saltcoats residents want the town to recognise Bobby Lennox by erecting a statue of the Lisbon Lions.

Lennox’s Celtic career spanned 20 years during which he played in 571 matches and scored 273 goals.

Now locals in Saltcoats have started a Facebook campaign to acknowledge the 73-year-old’s contribution to the town and for Scottish football.

De Vries determined to hold onto Celtic No 1 jersey

New Celtic signing says he is determined to cement his place as the first choice goalkeeper after making his debut against Aberdeen. Celtic face Rangers this weekend followed by Barcelona in the Champions League days later.

He said: “Once you get into the team, you don’t want to go out. I am working so hard and I want to stay in. I want to make it too hard for the manager to leave me out.

“It is his decision. I want to play, of course I do.

“There are a lot of nice games coming in. They are important and I came to be a part of that.

“It was so important to get the win before the international break started and now for me it is just about getting to know the other players a little bit better.”

Ex-Celt on trial in Polish 2nd tier

Former Celtic midfielder Filip Twardzik is on trial with Polish side Gornik Zabrze.

The 23-year-old had his contract with Bolton Wanderers terminated in July and had been expected to return to the Czech Republic to pick up his career. (Various)

IN BRIEF

Dundee will complete the signing of former Motherwell player Tom Hateley today

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