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Neil Lennon relies on goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas for Rangers showdown

Thu 31 December 2020 | 1:16

Celtic boss, Neil Lennon will have Vasilis Barkas in goal for the Old Firm derby and will not rule out Christopher Jullien who is injured from the incident in the 3-0 triumph over Dundee United.

Lennon

recalled the Greece goalkeeper, a £5million summer contract from AEK Athens, after a five-game time on the bench at the expense of young Northern Irishman, Conor Hazard.

Before Saturday’s tour to Ibrox, where the Hoops are trying to get back at Rangers’ 16-point lead, with

Celtic

still holding three games in hand,

Lennon

said:

“We have big games coming up and I want Vasilis to play in them.

“He has come in as number one and I want him to play. I think Conor’s done very well but he’s still very fledgling in his career.

“It would be a big call to put him into a game of this magnitude at the weekend. So, I want to go back to experience.

“Vasilis hasn’t shown us what he’s all about but he’s capable of doing that. So I thought it was important to give him a game before the weekend.

“Christopher had an impact on the knee, on the post, quite a heavy one. I am not ruling him out or in.

“We’ll have to assess him over the next couple of days. But again we’ve got Nir Bitton, we’ve got Shane Duffy.

“Our confidence is good, although we’re not getting carried away. Rangers is a tough game and they are in good form. So it’s a great challenge for us.”

United manager, Micky Mellon insisted his team should have been given a penalty in the first half when the ball seemingly hit Jullien’s arm in the box.

He said:

“My gut instinct right away, yes. The reaction of the players all at the same time, yes.

“And the way I seen it and the penalties I have seen given recently, I believe it was a stonewaller. They have got to go our way if we are going to get something.

“I thought we gave Celtic too much respect. We were a bit too passive.

“Maybe down to the first time being here for a lot of them but we will grow out of the performance and playing at a place like Celtic.”

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source: SportMob