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 Celtic FC
Terry
 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 04:40 AM
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Scott Brown is facing a major Champions League fitness fight ahead of Celtic’s crucial qualifier in Armenia tomorrow night.

Brendan Rodgers’ inspirational captain jetted out with the squad for the first leg against Alashkert but is a serious doubt after sustaining a knee injury in Saturday’s 7-0 romp over Shamrock Rovers.

Injured Leigh Griffiths and Marvin Compper stayed behind in Scotland but such is Brown’s influence that the Hoops manager will give him every chance to make it.

But if his medical team tells him the 33-year-old could make the injury worse by playing – and with Celtic facing eight matches just to reach the group stages of the Champions League – he’ll be forced to sit out the first leg.

That would be a major blow but Callum McGregor believes Celtic can get through the gruelling qualifying campaign for the third straight year.

He said: “The boys have accepted the challenge. We need to get our heads down, get our fitness up and do as best as we can.”

McGregor admits Celtic know they will have to hang tough at times after surviving major scares against Beer Sheva and Astana in the last two seasons.

But on both occasions the Hoops managed to claim their place with the big boys and McGregor is convinced standing firm amid the strain can set them up for another crack this time around.

He said: “It’s important, getting more experience at that level and knowing how to see games out.

“That process you go through, its tough. You do have to hang on at times. It’s a hard part of the season when boys are still trying to find sharpness and fitness.

“If we get the team together, get the right shape and we work off each other, we’ve got a good chance.”

Rodgers admits Celtic have never had it so hard in qualifying – but has no doubts his men can come good again.

The boss said: “It’s clearly going to be more difficult this year. We know what we have to do. It’s the best club tournament in the world, so we want to be in it.”

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