Exclusive: McNamara expects Lennon to roll dice on Celtic ace after team update v Rangers

Jackie McNamara has tipped Celtic manager Neil Lennon to roll the dice when it comes to the fitness of striker Odsonne Edouard against Rangers.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Parkhead hero says that he expects the Northern Irish boss to take a risk on the French hitman for the cup final showdown.

Edouard has missed the Bhoys’ last three games through injury and Lennon admitted on Friday that his potential return was being monitored on a “day-by-day” basis after a return to training.

While Lennon suggests he will not play Edouard if he is not as close to full fitness as possible, McNamara suggests the manager will be willing to take a risk on his fitness in the pursuit of silverware.

Asked if the manager would play his striker at around 80 per cent fitness, McNamara told Football Insider: “Yeah, I think he will. He’ll have a look at it, he’s not played in the last two games but he might have been tempted to put him in.

“He’s managed to have every opportunity to be fully fit for Sunday.”

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Edouard has scored 13 goals and contributed 12 assists in 25 appearances across all competitions for the Hoops this season, with nine of those strikes coming in his 12 Premiership outings.

Lennon has played with attacking midfielder Lewis Morgan in the Frenchman’s absence, Leigh Griffiths still working his way back to full fitness and Vakoun Issouf Bayo missing through injury.

In other Celtic news, Football Insider pundit says the Hoops have been handed a significant advantage ahead of the cup clash.