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Brendan Rodgers drops selection hint ahead of Celtic's match against Astana

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conference

Celtic are set to take on Astana later this evening in Champions League qualification.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during the press conference

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted to the Daily Express that Kolo Toure may start on the bench in his side’s Champions League qualifier against Astana later this evening.

Celtic are short of options in defence going into the crucial European tie.

The Bhoys and Astana drew 1-1 in the first-leg, and the pressure is on in front of an expectant Parkhead crowd.

Toure’s arrival at Celtic has strengthened Rodgers’ options going into the tie, but the experienced defender is not yet fully fit.

Liverpool's Kolo Toure during the press conference

And Rodgers said: “Kolo could start the game and last it but it’s one of those ones when, as a coach, you are thinking it might be that second or final part of the game where you need that experience to close it out.

“He could play 60 minutes and have to come off. Then you have to put someone less experienced on.

“The idea could be to keep him on the side and when you need more height to close out the game, you can put him on.”

Toure is expected to have an important role to play for Celtic this term, when he is up to speed.

Liverpool's Kolo Toure in action with Villarreal's Cedric Bakambu

If Toure is kept on the bench, Celtic could continue with Efe Ambrose and Eoghan O’Connell as their two defenders against Astana.

Celtic have failed to make it into the Champions League in the last two seasons, and they are desperate to qualify this time around.

Leigh Griffiths scored Celtic’s goal, as they earned a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

General view of Celtic Park

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