Celtic V Motherwell at Celtic Park : Match Preview

14 October 2016
Celtic V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Celtic to assess Mikael Lustig and Nir Bitton ahead of Motherwell match

Defender Mikael Lustig and midfielder Nir Bitton will both be assessed ahead of Celtic's home Ladbrokes Premiership clash with Motherwell on Saturday.

Both players returned from the international break with Sweden and Israel respectively carrying knocks.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is looking for Celtic to cement their place at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership before next Wednesday's home Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Rodgers is confident that any disappointment among Celtic's Scotland internationals will have been left at the gates of Lennoxtown.

The Scots' hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia took a massive blow with a 1-1 draw against Lithuania at Hampden Park last Saturday followed by a 3-0 defeat in Slovakia on Tuesday night.

Striker Leigh Griffiths came on as substitute in both games and left-back Kieran Tierney played in the latter match in Trnava.

Also, winger James Forrest featured as a substitute against the Lithuanians while keeper Craig Gordon was on the bench in both matches.

All four returned to the club's training ground to prepare for the game against Motherwell.

Asked if he would have to lift the players, Rodgers said: "No, not at all. I am sure they were disappointed but I always say to the players who go away to play with their international team, just worry about your international team, don't worry about Celtic.

"Go away, give your best to the coaches and managers to be the best you can for your country.

"When you come back to here, only worry about Celtic.

"When you drive up through Lennoxtown and through the gates, the focus goes to Celtic and they come into an ambience where the spirit is really high.

"It is a good environment to come to and they just slotted back in this morning and trained very well."

Stephen McManus believes Motherwell have nothing to lose.

Former Celtic captain McManus and the rest of his Well team mates suffered from the Hoops' improvement under Rodgers in August when they were hammered 5-0 at Parkhead in the Betfred Cup but he will return to the east end of Glasgow with hope.

The 34-year-old said: "We couldn't get near Celtic that night.

"They were moving the ball at a tempo, they were passing it to hurt you, they were looking to penetrate and they were keeping possession to score goals.

"I think there's a big, big difference this season and it's clear for everyone to see.

"But we have nothing to lose. Nobody is expecting us to get anything at all.

"We can go there and play with freedom, be relaxed.

"You need to be very well organised, which hopefully we will be on Saturday.

"We'll give it our best shot and on the day anything can happen.

"We know how difficult it's going to be but we certainly believe we can get something out of the game."

Chris Cadden should return to the Motherwell squad after a hamstring injury.

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