Brendan Rodgers hints midfielder could miss Celtic's rematch with Lincoln, but has more positive news regarding defender

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

The Scottish Premiership side go into the second-leg needing to overturn a one-goal deficit.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conferenceCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers has hinted that Nir Bitton could be doubtful for Celtic's clash with Lincoln Red Imps on Wednesday, but suggested that Erik Sviatchenko could be fine for the game, The Scottish Sun reports.

Sviatchenko had to be taken off during the first-half of the Hoops' pre-season friendly win over Wolfsburg on Saturday after clashing heads with the opposition goalkeeper, but Rodgers has insisted that the defender will not be on the sidelines for long. 

"He's spoiled his good looks for a few days but he's fine," he told The Scottish Sun.

Celtic's Erik SviatchenkoCeltic's Erik Sviatchenko

While Rodgers is positive about the Dane's chances of appearing in the second leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie, he appears to be much less confident about the likelihood of Bitton's involvement.

The midfielder played no part in the friendly against the Bundesliga side, and the Northern Irishman failed to outline just how long he will be out for.

"Nir has an issue with his hip flexor. He was in a lot of pain on Friday," he added.

"We hope it is only short-term but that remains to be seen."

Celtic's Nir Bitton (R) in action with Ross County's Jackson Irvine (L)Celtic's Nir Bitton

Despite the stunning 1-0 defeat in the first leg, Celtic should have little problem making it through to the next round of the competition.

But Lincoln proved that they have the potential to punish the Bhoys if they give them the opportunity, and so Rodgers would have surely been hoping to have his best side available so they leave nothing to chance.

Not having Bitton would be a massive blow if he fails to recover. The 24-year-old's presence would certainly help ensure that the defence is not breached like they were in Gibraltar.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

And while Rodgers will be crossing his fingers regarding the Israel international, he will be pleased that Sviatchenko's injury does not appear to be too serious. 

After Efe Ambrose's poor performance in the first leg, Rodgers may have been hoping that he has enough options to pick from to ensure that the Nigerian is not involved in the rematch.

Though Sviatchenko failed to cover himself in glory in the first game, he showed last season that with the right partner alongside him at the heart of defence, he can do an excellent job in the role. 

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