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Rodgers will limit changes for Hoops

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Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers. Photo: PA

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers plans only "subtle changes" to his starting line-up during a hectic schedule before the winter break.

The Hoops' Ladbrokes Premiership game at Hamilton today is the first of 11 matches before the end of the year and Rodgers will be without Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic, while Scott Brown, Leigh Griffiths, Olivier Ntcham, Kieran Tierney and Tom Rogic have all been injured recently.

Rodgers knows he will have to rotate his squad but he has learned lessons from defeats at Hearts and Kilmarnock earlier this season when he made up to six changes after European games.

When asked about making changes, he said: "I have to, but obviously without making too many. When we make too many changes we lose the flow of the team. That's where our two defeats came earlier in the season, making big changes to try and compensate for big games following.

"But the players are now up to speed in terms of fitness and rhythm. We'll look at subtle changes within it, but I don't think there will be too many. ''

Rodgers believes that continued communication with the Celtic board can help avoid another frustrating winter transfer window.

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Steven Gerrard. Photo: PA

Steven Gerrard. Photo: PA

Steven Gerrard. Photo: PA

He added: "January is always an important window to strengthen. If we can do that, that will be the aim."

Meanwhile, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hopes Celtic continue to accept tickets for derby games at Ibrox.

Rangers announced in May that Celtic's allocation would be slashed from close to 8,000 to around 800 and the Scottish champions followed suit when their rivals visited Parkhead earlier in the season.

Celtic admitted to shareholders this week that discussions were ongoing about whether to accept any tickets ahead of the December 29 encounter at Ibrox amid safety concerns.

Gerrard said: "I don't think it would affect the fixture because there would still be an incredible atmosphere at Ibrox.

"That's Celtic's decision, if they decide to do that. I hope they don't because I think big football matches and Old Firms are about both sets of fans and the banter and all that type of stuff.''


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