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Rennes v Celtic preview
Published : 19 Oct 2011 09:54:00Rss feed
Celtic manager Neil Lennon will choose from a depleted squad for Thursday night's Europa League clash with Rennes (6.00pm) in France. The Hoops boss knew he would be without defender Badr El-Kaddouri who is cup-tied for the competition. However, striker Gary Hooper, who picked up an ankle knock in the SPL game at Kilmarnock at the weekend, was not in the travelling party who assembled at Glasgow airport this morning ahead of their flight to Rennes. Striker Georgios Samaras failed to recover from a bruised bone, while attacking midfielder Kris Commons picked up a calf injury in training. Ahead of match day three, Lennon's men are bottom of Group I on goal difference behind the French side after losing 2-0 to Atletico Madrid in Spain and drawing 1-1 with Udinese at Parkhead. Despite the latest injury blows, Celtic assistant Johan Mjallby insists the Hoops still have enough attacking options to get a result in France. "Everyone is not fit," said the former Celtic defender. "Gary Hooper hobbled off at half-time (at Kilmarnock), he is not travelling. "Georgios is unfortunately not with us and Kris picked up a calf injury in training and he is not travelling. "But we still think we have a good number of players whose strength is in attack. "Usually we are an attack-minded team so I'm not sure that we can sit back and defend, it is not in our nature, especially when we have been quite poor defensive-wise in recent weeks." Keeper Fraser Forster admits the Hoops defence will have to tighten up from the weekend where they were three goals down at Rugby Park before they fought back for a point. He said: "The weekend was disappointing and we can't defend like that as a team. "So we need to learn the lessons and get back to defending how we know we can. "We sat down and had a chat afterwards and had a look at the video but we do that every game. "We had a chat about what we need to do to improve and to do better, so we all know that can't happen again, we can't go three goals down."