Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers rues Jozo Simunovic loss for Bayern Munich clash

Simunovic tore his hamstring in September and although he returned to training, a reaction to the injury has ruled him out.

Published: 18th October 2017 10:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th October 2017 11:33 AM   |  A+A-

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (File | Reuters)


MUNICH: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has bemoaned the loss of key defender Jozo Simunovic, who has failed to recover in time for Wednesday's key Champions League clash at Bayern Munich.

The Bosnia centre-half tore his hamstring in September and although he returned to training last week, a reaction to the injury has ruled him out.

The loss of Simunovic means Rodgers will be forced to field a patched-up defence against Bayern, including star forwards Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben.

"He's come back into the team having been injured, you always want your top players fit, but he has had a reaction to the injury, so it's disappointing," said Rodgers in Munich on Tuesday.

"We’ve had to get used to injuries, especially across our back line.

"Ideally, you want to have a set pair at the back, but we’ve had to constantly rejig the team.

"But whoever I put in there always does a great job."

With Simunovic out, Nir Bitton, youngster Kristoffer Ajer or Erik Sviatchenko could fill in at centre-back as Celtic look to build on their 3-0 away win at Anderlecht three weeks ago.

Both teams have three points from their opening two rounds of Champions League games.

While Celtic were buoyed by their win in Belgium last time out, Bayern want to bounce back from their shock 3-0 defeat at league leaders Paris Saint-Germain which cost Carlo Ancelotti his job.

"Bayern are one of the best teams in world football," said Rodgers.

"You only need to look at the team sheet and see the quality of players.

"They are one of the favourites and they are in their own back yard.

"They are level on points with us in the group and will want to put themselves ahead of us."


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