Olivier Ntcham starts for Celtic against AEK Athens

Olivier Ntcham (21) steps on referee’s line spray forcing the bottle to explode white foam all over pitch during the UEFA Champions League Qualifiing match between Celtic and AEK Athens at...

Brendan Rodgers’s Celtic will face AEK Athens this evening.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic (L) Alef Saladanha and Rodrigo Galo of AEK Athens look dejected following the UEFA Champions League Qualifier between Celtic and AEK Athens at Celtic Park Stadium...

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has included Olivier Ntcham in the starting lineup against AEK Athens in Greece this evening.

Ntcham has been linked with a move away from Celtic in the summer transfer window, with RMC Sport reporting that FC Porto have opened talks with representatives of the midfielder (click here to read more).

The 22-year-old French midfielder, though, still starts for the Hoops in the second leg of their Champions League Qualifying Third Round tie.

 

The youngster has been on the books of Celtic since the summer of 2017 when he joined from Manchester City for a transfer fee reported by BBC Sport to be worth £4.5 million.

Leigh Griffiths has been included in the Celtic starting lineup against Athens as well, a move which will surely please Scotland international manager Alex McLeish.

11th August 2018, Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland; Ladbrokes Premiership football, Heart of Midlothian versus Celtic; Leigh Griffiths of Celtic shoots on goal

McLeish recently told The Scottish Sun about Scotland international striker Griffiths: “It would be difficult for Leigh to keep his level if he’s not playing much and keeping his match fitness.

“That’s a concern, but the challenge is for Leigh to bang in the goals. We want him at top fitness because when he came into the team in the last qualifying campaign he was on fire.”

This is how Celtic will line up against Athens this evening:

Meanwhile, Celtic legend David Provan has a warning for the Scottish club’s chief executive Peter Lawwell regarding this evening’s match.

With the first leg of the tie having finished 1-1 at Celtic Park last week, the Hoops are in danger of not progressing further in the Champions League this season.

Provan wrote in The Scottish Sun: “The new season is still in nappies but Celtic’s visit to Athens on Tuesday is already squeaky bum time for Peter Lawwell.

“If the Hoops go out to the Greeks, it’ll be Lawwell’s backside in the bacon slicer and he shouldn’t expect any sympathy.

“While the rookie Gerrard has been handed enough cash to buy an entire team, Rodgers finds his own hands tied,” added Provan. “That will buy him immunity from prosecution if Celtic lose in Athens.

“Supporters will turn the spotlight on a board who’ve had it too easy for too long. If this game is big for Rodgers, it’s even bigger for Lawwell.”

Celtc owner Dermot Desmond and Celtic  Chief Executive of  Peter Lawwell (C) look on prior to the Scottish Cup Final between Motherwell and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 19, 2018 in...

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