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9th May, 2018 | 9:43pm

Brendan Rodgers details why key Celtic player missed draw v Kilmarnock

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has explained why Hoops forward Moussa Dembele was left out of the Hoops’ starting line-up to face Kilmanock on Wednesday night, in a game which ended 0-0.

Rodgers confirmed that it was too much of a risk to start the only current fit striker at the club, with the Scottish Cup Final less than two weeks away.

“We can’t afford to risk him – he is our only fit striker at the moment,” Rodgers said, as quoted on the BBC Sport live blog (19:33).

“He will be involved at the weekend, but it is too much of a risk, with him just coming back from injury as well.”

Dembele has been a key player for the Hoops this season, making 37 appearances, and has established himself as the main striker at the club.

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Rodgers is being sensible in his treatment of Dembele, as the player is far too important to be risked to what was, overall, a meaningless league game. Hopefully Demeble was also only be used sparingly against Aberdeen on Sunday, as the Hoops have another relatively meaningless game ahead of the Scottish Cup Final. If the Hoops had other strikers fit then perhaps Dembele could be risked against Kilmarnock, but with Odsonne Edouard out for the rest of the season and Leigh Griffiths ill then the Hoops boss is being smart in his use of the 21-year-old, as if he was to suffer an injury it would be dreadful for the Hoops, especially if he missed the cup final picking up an injury in what was an unimportant game overall, but thankfully there is no chance of that happening thanks to the Hoops boss and his smart man-management.

In other Celtic news, this fringe player must take his chance v Kilmarnock

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