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Craig Gordon insists Celtic must cope with key players missing for Europa League clash with RB Leipzig

Celtic's Craig Gordon (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)
Celtic's Craig Gordon (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)

CRAIG GORDON insists Celtic will just have to cope with the absence of some of their big stars against RB Leipzig on Thursday.

With winger James Forrest suspended for the Europa League encounter at the Red Bull Arena, Tom Rogic’s knee complaint means he joined Scott Brown and Leigh Griffiths on the sidelines and defender Filip Benkovic is a doubt.

However, the Hoops goalkeeper played down Brendan Rodgers’ selection problems ahead of the first of a double-header against the Bundesliga side.

He said: “We’d like to have everybody available but that’s always going to happen at different points during the season.

“It gives the other players in the squad a good opportunity to come in and show what they can do on one of the biggest stages in European football.

“That’s part and parcel of being at a big club. You play so many games and at certain times in the season that’s going to happen so we’ll just have to deal with it.

“The players who have come in have been waiting a long time. They’ve had to wait for their chance and here it is against top quality opposition.

“There’s no better place to show how good you are than in Europe. They’ll be looking forward to that. We have a lot of quality in the squad.

“We have a big squad and the ones who have come in are more than capable of playing at this level. It’s a great opportunity for them. We trust in everybody in our squad and we’re looking forward to this game. ”

RB Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick believes Celtic will provide a tough test for his side.

He said: “Celtic are a good team. They don’t play typically kick and rush type of Scottish football.

“They have technically strong players and they always try to find solutions by playing technical football.

“They like to press and build from the back using their wing backs.

“We don’t think it will be an easy encounter. We don’t necessarily need a big victory but the most important thing is winning.”