Date: 22nd August 2017 at 12:44pm
Written by:

By Harry Sykes

Brendan Rodgers is expected to name a strong starting XI to finish the job in the Champions League play-off against Astana this afternoon.

The Scottish champions are 5-0 up and should qualify at a canter, but Rodgers has told his team to treat it like a 0-0.

As quoted by the BBC, Rodgers has said, “We worked very well in the first leg but we need to complete the job.”

“We think of it as zero-zero, that is our approach and we want to get a good result.”

Nir Bitton is a doubt for the early kick-off on Tuesday after picking up a knock in the second half against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

The 25-year-old is unlikely to be risked, and Rodgers is expected to go with Craig Gordon in goal, and a defence of Kieran Tierney, Kristoffer Ajer, Jozo Simunovic and Mikael Lustig.

Scott Brown and Stuart Armstong are expected to line-up in midifeld, with Scott Sinclair, Tom Rogic and James Forrest ahead of them, with Leigh Griffiths up top.

The real interest for Celtic fans tonight could come from other fixtures in the Champions League.

Fans will be desperate to avoid a group like they got in the last Champions League campaign, where they had to face off against Barcelona and Manchester City and crashed out without winning a game.

Celtic will go into the much more favourable third pot for the group stage draw if if they progress and Sevilla, Liverpool, Olympiakos or Napoli fail to go through. 

In other Celtic news, Barcelona legend Xavi has made a bold claim about the Bhoys’ chances of European success.

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