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Neil Lennon to field a strong team as Celtic host Cliftonville in the Champions League

Neil Lennon to field a strong team as Celtic host Cliftonville in the Champions League

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The Bhoys boss is eager to give his senior players more competitive game time in the second leg of the Champions League encounter against the Reds

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has indicated that he will field a strong team as his side welcome Cliftonville to Celtic Park for the second leg of the Champions League second qualifying round.

The Bhoys defeated the Reds 3-0 at Solitude in the first leg, with Georgios Samaras, James Forrest and Mikael Lustig getting on the scoresheet and Lennon said that his team would "go strong" in the second leg.

"We are still in pre-season," Lennon told reporters. "So I want to get as much football into the senior boys as we can and we will go strong."

Striker Gary Hooper will return to the squad, despite speculation surrounding his future, but new signing Virgil van Dijk, as well as Adam Matthews and Charlie Mulgrew will miss out through injury.

Cliftonville, meanwhile, have reported no new injury concerns ahead of the encounter and, having lost comprehensively in the first leg, manager Tommy Breslin is hoping to avoid a "complete hammering" in Glasgow.

"We will enjoy the occasion and playing in front of a big crowd," he said. "We have pride and do not want to get a complete hammering, but you have to remember Celtic are a class act."

Celtic take on Cliftonville at Celtic Park on Tuesday July 23 in the Champions League. Kick off 19:45 BST.

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