Celtic V Inverness CT at Celtic Park : Match Preview

23 November 2012 04:01
Celtic V Inverness CT - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Brown may play against Inverness

Celtic captain Scott Brown is in contention to face Inverness - but is still likely to face surgery after the visit of Spartak Moscow.

Neil Lennon stated on Tuesday that Brown looked like needing an operation on his ongoing hip problem after failing to last 90 minutes in the 2-1 defeat against Benfica.

But the Celtic manager later discovered the midfielder had gone off with cramp in his legs.

Lennon will now look to keep his skipper going until the Champions League group decider against Spartak Moscow on December 5, before referring him to a consultant.

Lennon said: "Scott Brown is in contention to play remarkably. We will refer him after Moscow and see how he is. The problem is we don't have the time to let him settle down.

"Looking at the condition, it normally requires surgery.

"The problem on Tuesday night was he was just out of condition a bit because he has not been training.

"He has trained in the last couple of days and we are doing some physical work and see what reaction we get."

Lennon revealed it would be an eight-week rehabilitation process once Brown goes under the knife.

Lennon added: "We are not making the condition any worse, the only problem is it's not getting any better. The medical team feel surgery will fix the problem, and when we do it is coming closer."

While Brown could make the clash with Inverness, Lennon faces a problem at centre-back with Thomas Rogne's attempted comeback from a calf problem complicated by a virus.

Kelvin Wilson is also a doubt with flu while James Forrest (hamstring) is out and Joe Ledley (groin) is a doubt.

Meanwhile, Inverness manager Terry Butcher has urged his players to play with freedom at Celtic Park and revel on the big stage again.

Caley Thistle travel to Glasgow to face the Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders on the back of a 5-1 defeat by Motherwell, a loss that ended a 10-game unbeaten run - which included a 3-0 victory against Rangers at Ibrox in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-finals.

Inverness have also twice come from two goals down to secure a point in Edinburgh this season against both Hibernian and Hearts, where they were down to 10 men.

So Butcher believes his team can go to Celtic and play without fear.

"It's a great place to play football and pit your wits against a very, very good side," he said.

"We have had experience of going to Hibs, Hearts and Rangers, when we won in the League Cup.

"We played in front of 28-29,000 at Rangers and it was a good atmosphere so hopefully that will stand them in good stead on Saturday afternoon.

"We want to enjoy it. We have enjoyed our football in the last few months.

"We didn't enjoy last Sunday but we have been enjoying our football and this is another step for the players who haven't played at Parkhead before to enjoy it, learn from it and be better people as a result of that.

"We aim to continue our run of scoring in every match. Parkhead is certainly a big test for us to see if we can continue that but it's a great challenge.

"We have to play the crowd like we did at Ibrox. We went to Ibrox and enjoyed the occasion and handled it very well, and had the freedom to go and play."

Inverness have an unchanged squad to choose from for the trip.

Midfielder Ross Draper has still not recovered from the ankle injury he picked up in the recent win at Kilmarnock.

Simon King (ankle), Chris Hogg (knee), Nick Ross (shoulder) and Ryan Esson (hip) are still out.

Source: PA

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