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Brown needs to be fit for Old Firm clash - Celtic's Lennon

Scott Brown was left in Glasgow as his Celtic teammates traveled to Madrid for tonight's Europa League opener.

Celtic meet Atletico Madrid in their first Group I outing and captain Brown will not be there because of the ankle injury which kept him out of the weekend's 4-0 league win over Motherwell.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon said Brown is still not fully fit so it was wise to leave him at home so he could prepare for Sunday's massive Old Firm derby with Rangers at Ibrox.

"For Scott to have any chance of playing on Sunday, then it is just as well to leave him at home," said Lennon.

"I think he has a good chance of playing against Rangers, maybe 80 per cent. A fit Scott Brown would be very important for us, especially in a fixture as physical and high tempo as an Old Firm game.

"You saw what he gave to Scotland playing in the 4-5-1 system against Czech Republic. He likes that role and has qualities there in terms of his athleticism, reading of the game and getting the ball back.

"You always take on board the medical opinion when you are assessing whether anyone should play in any game, but our priority is the championship and we have a huge game coming up on Sunday."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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