Report: Celtic pair absent from first friendly will feature against Sturm Graz

General View of Celtic park before the game

The Scottish Premiership side are currently on a pre-season tour in Slovenia.

Celtic's Scott BrownCeltic's Scott Brown

A report in the Daily Record has claimed that both Scott Brown and Emilio Izaguirre will take to the pitch for the first time on Celtic's pre-season tour in their next game against Sturm Graz.

The pair both missed the 2-2 draw with Slovenian side Celje with the Record reporting that the Hoops skipper picked up a knock in training the previous week.

Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre walks off dejected after being sent offCeltic's Emilio Izaguirre

However, the Record adds that both are likely to be used when the Bhoys cross the border to take on the three-time champions of Austria before they return to Slovenia for the final two fixtures of the tour. 

The news of Brown's return, in particular, is likely to be well received by the club's supporters. The 31-year-old spent much of the past campaign out because of injury, and when he did return, he looked well short of his influential best.

Celtic's Scott Brown speaks to referee Bobby Madden

Nevertheless, with Brendan Rodgers' men's Champions League qualifiers set to begin in less than two weeks, having the captain back available will provide the side with a tremendous boost as they desperately try to end their wait for a place in the group stages of the competition.

Meanwhile, Izaguirre's return will also be helpful to Rodgers as he assesses his options. Though he is unlikely to select the Honduran over Kieran Tierney when the competitive fixtures begin, ensuring that the left-back is fit and sharp could be crucial if the youngster picks up an injury at any stage during the campaign. 

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conference

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