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  • Neil Lennon: New Bhoys will feature in Rennes friendly

    Neil Lennon: New Bhoys will feature in Rennes friendly

    By: Joe Donnelly on 12 Jul, 2019 16:01

  • CELTIC face French outfit Rennes in a pre-season friendly at Paradise tomorrow (Saturday), and manager Neil Lennon plans to introduce some new faces to his matchday squad. Speaking ahead of the game, the manager said he plans to give Luca Connell his Hoops debut this weekend, and will likewise introduce Christopher Jullien into the heart of defence.

    “It’s good for some of the squad players who weren’t involved in Tuesday to get important game-time tomorrow,” said Neil Lennon. “Rennes are in their pre-season, they had a good season last year, and it’ll be a quality game.

    “Chris is ready to get some game-time. We’ll gauge it as we go along, but Sarajevo earlier this week was too early for him. Luca, on the other hand, has been great. What you see is what you get. He’s bubbly, he’s got an infectious personality and he’s a good player.

    “He’ll feature tomorrow as well, and it’ll be good for the Celtic public to get a view of him and an experience of Celtic Park.”

    Neil Lennon stressed that, despite his age, he foresees a future for Connell in the first team, providing he continues to work hard on the training pitch.

    The same applies to some of the squad’s developing talent, such as 16-year-old Karamoko Dembele, who has continued to train with the senior players since returning from the club’s pre-season summer camp.

    Next Wednesday, Celtic will host FK Sarajevo for the return leg of their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round on Wednesday, July 17, defending a 3-1 first leg lead. The manager said Boli Bolingoli will be fit for the game, whereas first leg goalscorer Mikey Johnston will be rested as a precaution.  

    The manager added: “We’ve still got to negotiate the second leg. We can hopefully get through that, take another week and get more players in. We know the two teams we could face in the next round, but we’re not looking that far ahead.

    “We need to finish the job on Wednesday. One of our main priorities every year is Champions League football, and that’s a motivating factor in everything we do.”

    You can be at Paradise this Saturday, July 13 to cheer on the Bhoys against Stade Rennais. There’s lots of free pre-match entertainment on the Celtic Way for all the family ahead of the game to, and there’s still time to book your place, with a limited number of tickets still available.

    Full matchday details HERE

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