Celtic manager faces Euro dilemma over Leigh Griffiths

Leigh Griffiths and Olivier Ntcham are pictured in Celtic's new third strip. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Leigh Griffiths and Olivier Ntcham are pictured in Celtic's new third strip. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he faces a dilemma over the level of Leigh Griffiths’ involvement in tonight’s Champions League qualifier in Trondheim.

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The striker, who was ruled out of last week’s goalless first leg against Rosenborg by suspension, is back in training after recovering from a calf injury which would have ruled him out in any case.

Rodgers, who knows any score draw would take Celtic through on the away goals rule, is pondering whether to start with Griffiths or use him as a substitute.

“You are weighing up both,” said Rodgers. “Does he play 60 minutes and then come off? Or do you put him on to make an impact later in the game when it is stretched and there is space?”

Danish defender Erik Sviatchenko also travelled with the Celtic squad yesterday, having missed the first leg, leaving Rodgers to decide whether to stick with Norwegian teenager Kristoffer Ajer at the back after his impressive display in Glasgow.

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“Leigh and Erik are not 100 per cent fit but the availability is there and they are at a good level,” added Rodgers.

“I said to both boys they have done well to push themselves to make themselves available. They both feel fine and ready for the team. They are professional players. They get their money paid into the bank every month to play.

“So I don’t need to find out if they want to play or not. It’s the obligation. You work to play and then it’s up to the manager to gauge your fitness and then hope they can perform. The most important thing is that both boys are ready to play a part for us at some point.

“Kris did really well in the first leg. He’s 19 and it’s a process for young players at huge clubs, because you can destroy their confidence. But some of the boys now will get more minutes as the season goes on. He is playing a new position and did well at the weekend in the game at Sunderland as well.”

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