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Celtic boss Neil Lennon hints he could select Olivier Ntcham against Rennes

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Betfred League Cup match between Celtic and Dunfermline Athletic at Celtic Park on August 17, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Celtic manager admits he's tempted to unleash the 23-year-old in his homeland.

Olivier Ntcham of Celtic arrives at the stadium prior to the Betfred League Cup match between Celtic and Dunfermline Athletic at Celtic Park on August 17, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has hinted he may select Olivier Ntcham for Thursday's UEFA Europa League clash against Rennes, FourFourTwo report.

The Frenchman has not been a preferred choice in the Hoops midfield so far this season, with Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Ryan Christie all regulars in the central areas.

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However, with the chance of shining in his homeland, Ntcham could be set to come in.

Lennon has been talking up the impact that playing in France could have on his and others' performances.

As if he was thinking about utilising the 23-year-old, as quoted by FourFourTwo, Lennon explained: "Yes, I am tempted to bring him in, because he’s a good player.

"And I think the guys coming back to France... Jullien knows the environment very well, Odsonne has been away with the Under-21s and done fantastically well.

"I always think going back to your home country is a great incentive to show the people back home, your family, your friends, how much you have come on and how much you have developed.

"So I think there is an little bit of extra incentive and motivation for these players, there is no question of that."

 

Who'll drop out?

The most obvious contender to make way for Ntcham is Ryan Christie. The attacking midfielder has been in excellent form this season but is the most natural equivalent to the Frenchman, if indeed he is selected by Lennon.

Christie has netted eight goals so far this season, which is a brilliant record, but recent his goals have dried up a bit. He has scored in his last eight matches for club and country.

He last found the net for the Hoops during the disastrous 4-3 defeat to Cluj at Celtic Park.

Ryan Christie of Celtic FC in action   during the UEFA Champions League 2019

There's an argument to say that Callum McGregor needs a rest too, although Ntcham is less dynamic and explosive when deployed in a deeper role.

Scott Brown appears to be a lock to play, given he provides leadership and a defensive robustness not seen elsewhere in the squad.

However it shakes out, if Ntcham plays, it seems that an integral player so far this season will be benched.

All eyes on Lennon's team announcement tomorrow.

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