Celtic boosted by Moisander absence for Ajax

The Finnish defender has been ruled out of tonight’s European clash

Celtic’s prospects of victory in tonight’s key Champions League clash with Ajax in Glasgow have been boosted by the news that the Dutch side will be without key defender Niklas Moisander.

The 28-year-old had travelled with the Eredivisie champions in the hope of passing a late fitness test ahead of their crunch clash with the Bhoys.

However it now looks highly unlikely that the player will feature in tonight’s game, with Ajax boss Frank De Boer likely to deploy Joël Veltman.

The 21-year-old started in the Finn’s place over the weekend, as Ajax stuttered to a 1-1 draw against top-of-the-table Twente.

Moisander has been struggling with a knee injury for much of the past month, with the Amsterdam club keen not to risk bringing the player back into the first-team fold too early.

Both teams face an uphill struggle to secure a place in the knockout stages, with fellow group opponents AC Milan and Barcelona favourites to progress to the next round.

Those two teams are set to go head-to-head at the San Siro this evening, while Ajax’s trip to Celtic Park could ultimately determine who contests second spot in the group as well as which side will feature in the latter stages of the Europa League.

Neil Lennon, meanwhile, is facing his fair share of team selection issues, with captain Scott Brown suspended following his red card against Barcelona, while KrisCommons has been ruled out through injury.

The two sides have never met in Europe’s premier competition but Celtic will be hoping that the Parkhead faithful can play a part in cheering their team on to victory, as they did in key clashes against Barcelona and Spartak Moscow last season.

image: © easylocum

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