Lennon prepares for Euro crunch
August 19, 2012 15:12:47 UK
Celtic manager Neil Lennon is expecting a massive test for his side when they take on Swedish outfit Helsingborgs in the Champions League play-off round.
Celtic hope to have striker Gary Hooper fit to face Helsingborgs.
Victory for the Bhoys would see them seal a place in the group stages of the competition and Lennon is hoping that the loss of loan striker Alfred Finnbogason might tip the odds in Celtic’s favour.
Iceland international Finnbogason scored ten goals for Helsingborgs in the first half of the Swedish league season, but he has now joined up with Dutch outfit Heerenveen and will not feature against the SPL champions.
Lennon said: "They are strong defensively, although they have lost their leading goalscorer Alfred Finnbogason to Heerenveen, which is a huge bonus for us because he was one of their best players.
"It's a great opportunity for us, but we know it's a great chance for Helsingborgs as well. Scandinavian teams are very difficult opposition and I’m not taking this tie lightly at all."
Celtic head to Sweden for the first leg of the tie on Tuesday and are 2.60 to gain a win away from home, while they are 3.10 to secure a draw and 2.75 to keep a clean sheet.
Lennon hopes to be boosted by the returns of midfielders Scott Brown and Paddy McCourt and forwards Gary Hooper and James Forrest for the European action.
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