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Chris Sutton criticises Celtic's Brendan Rodgers

Darmstadt's Tunesian forward Aenis Ben-Hatira and Leipzig's defender Marvin Compper (R) vie for the ball  during the German first division Bundesliga football match between SV Darmstadt 98...

Celtic could be light on central defensive options against Rosenborg.

Celtic's Croatian-born Bosnian defender Jozo Simunovic (L) vies with Zenit St Petersburg's Russian forward Aleksandr Kokorin during the UEFA Europa League football match between Celtic and...

Writing in The Record, Chris Sutton has criticised Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers for the lack of defensive cover available ahead of a key Champions League qualifier with Rosenborg.

Celtic set up a second-round preliminary tie with the Norwegian champions this week after beating Alashkert 3-0 at Parkhead to seal a comprehensive 6-0 aggregate victory.

However, Jozo Simunovic picked up a red card against the Armenian outfit and is ineligible for the next round, meaning that Rodgers is light on replacements to line up alongside Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer in central defence.

The Bhoys are already without Dedryck Boyata, who is on holiday following Belgium's World Cup campaign, while Marvin Compper, a £1 million signing in January, only has one competitive game under his belt for Celtic.

Such headaches are becoming the norm for Rodgers in Champions League qualifiers, after being forced to field Eoghan O'Connell and Nir Bitton on big European nights in recent seasons, and Sutton admits that he "can't believe" the Northern Irishman has put himself in the same position again.

Manager of Celtic Brendan Rodgers looks on during the Betfred Cup Semi-Final at Hampden Park on October 21, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

"I can’t quite believe they have allowed it to happen again mind you. They knew Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig were going to be unavailable. It’s not like the World Cup sneaked up on them," he told The Record.

"Yet here they are, going in to a crucial qualifier with a patchwork back four. Again.

"It was the same in Brendan Rodgers’s first season when he was forced to chuck in Eoghan O’Connell and Lustig as a partnership in Astana. Now they will need to rely on a couple of rookies in the first leg against Rosenborg.

"I know there is the option of cancelling Boyata’s shore leave but that would be too big a gamble after a couple of weeks out from training. The same goes for Lustig and then there’s Cristian Gamboa. Don’t get me started on Marvin Compper. He’s been a disaster.‚Äč"

Sutton is right to some extent. It is a poor indictment on Rodgers that Compper, who has looked shaky in pre-season, might be Celtic's best candidate to replace Simunovic against Rosenborg.

Parkhead plays host to the first leg of the second-round qualifier on Wednesday.

Jozo Simunovic of Celtic  celebrates after he scores during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Dundee and Celtic at Dens Park Stadium on March 19, 2017 in Dundee, Scotland.

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