Saturday 10 December 2016

Brown in line for Celtic return

Roddy Forsyth

Published 15/12/2011 | 05:00

Scott Brown is set to make his first start for Celtic since September -- when he was in the side that lost 4-2 to Rangers at Ibrox in the first Old Firm derby of the season -- as Neil Lennon attempts to steer the Hoops to a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with a victory at Udinese.

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The Celtic captain was the victim of a persistent ankle injury that ruled him out for two months and has restricted him to three substitute appearances since his recent recovery.

However, he is seen by Lennon as a player whose purpose and strength in midfield would be an asset on an evening when the manager must do without key players.

"Paddy McCourt's not made it. Kris Commons, Adam Matthews and Joe Ledley are out too," said Lennon as he itemised his latest casualty list.

"Thomas Rogne (ineligible) is not here and Glenn Loovens will be out for a couple of weeks after picking up a minor strain on Saturday.

"We will look at changing the formation because the system Udinese use is different from just about any other team. Scott will definitely be in contention. We need a bit of running power in there, and Scott will certainly provide that for us."

Brown demonstrated the combative side of his nature against Hearts on Saturday when he was embroiled in a confrontation with Jamie Hammill after the whistle sounded on Celtic's 1-0 victory.

Lennon declared himself unfazed by the "Snarling Scott" headlines about his captain. "I think that gets over-emphasised," said the manager.

The likelihood is that Celtic will pull Victor Wanyama back into central defence, with Brown and Beram Kayal in the midfield holding roles, flanked by James Forrest and Georgios Samaras and with Dubliner Anthony Stokes as the lone striker. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

CELTIC (probable, 4-2-3-1) -- Forster; Cha, Majstorovic, Wanyama, Mulgrew; Kayal, Brown; Forrest, Ki, Samaras; Stokes.

Udinese v Celtic,

Live, Setanta Ireland/ESPN 8.05

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