Euro Football

Johnston returns to Celtic team for Euro qualifier

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Johnston had missed Celtic's last two games.

Johnston had missed Celtic’s last two games.

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Mikey Johnston and Hatem Abd Elhamed have both returned to the Celtic side for their crucial Champions League qualifier against CFR Cluj.

French midfielder Olivier Ntcham also starts, with summer signings Boli Bolingoli and Christopher Jullien dropping to the bench, along with Lewis Morgan.

The Scottish champions hold a slight advantage after their 1-1 draw in the first leg in Romania and are aiming to complete the job and progress to play Slavia Prague in the play-off round.

They would go head to head with the Czechs for a lucrative place in the group stage and matches against Europe’s elite. And success on Tuesday night would guarantee them Europa League group stage football at worst with the loser of the Slavia tie being handed a place in the secondary competition as consolation.

Celtic’s hopes of progress have been boosted with the return of Johnston, who had been in impressive early season form but had sat out the last two games with a tight hamstring. And Elhamed, who had suffered a dead leg, is fit to start at right-back, allowing Kristoffer Ajer to move back to the heart of defence.

Celtic line up with Scott Bain in goal behind what looks to be a back four of Callum McGregor, Ajer, Jozo Simunovic and Elhamed.

Scott Brown and Ntcham are in centre midfield with Johnston, Ryan Christie and James Forrest in attack behind Odsonne Edouard.

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