Celtic V Aberdeen at Celtic Park : Match Preview

By
26 August 2016
Celtic V Aberdeen - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Celtic almost at full strength for Aberdeen clash

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has close to a full squad for the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Aberdeen.

Only Gary Mackay-Steven is unavailable as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

Defender Jozo Simunovic has resumed training after a knee injury but is short of match-fitness, while Stefan Johansen looks to be on his way to Fulham.

Rodgers is gearing up for a busy few days before the transfer window closes with movement expected both ways.

And he admits upcoming Champions League fixtures against Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach plus access to a potential B#30million-plus prize pot have strengthened his hand.

"It allows us to hopefully add to our squad before the window shuts," he said. "That was always going to be the case but of course once qualification is done, it opens up some more funds in order to do that, which is great. The club is going to try to continue to develop now and obviously this Champions League qualification helps us do that.

"It was quoted as the richest game in the history of the club so it shows the impact it can have. We want to bring in the right profile of players that can help us, not just now, but in the next few years.

"Celtic as a football club is a huge attraction, the scale of the club, the expectancy will always attract players, but of course when we have the games we have to play, it's always a huge attraction. Being in the Champions League will certainly make some players sit up and take notice.

"We've got a few ideas of players that we want, but nothing imminent."

Aberdeen skipper Ryan Jack could play at Parkhead, despite being booked in for a knee operation on Tuesday.

The midfielder has been complaining of swelling in his knee and is set to be operated on early next week.

Manager Derek McInnes said: "We think it is cartilage damage, but we're hoping (the recovery period) will be weeks rather than months.

"We're quite confident it is only going to be weeks, but until the surgeon goes in and identifies what is wrong we won't know. You can see a lot in the scans, but sometimes they can be misleading.

"However, it is clear there is work needing done there because his knee has been swelling up.

"Hopefully this will get to the bottom of it and we won't be without him for too long.

"Ryan has started really well, as he has done in the last few seasons. Along with Graeme Shinnie, he's been leading by example, so it is a blow."

Midfielder Peter Pawlett is definitely out with a groin strain, joining Jonny Hayes (hamstring) on the sidelines.

Callum Morris is back in contention, though, after stepping up his recovery from an Achilles problem.




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