Date: 8th November 2019 at 7:20pm
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Neil Lennon could send a shadow team out to face Cluj in the final match of Europa League Group.

A win in Romania would pocket the hoops a welcome bonus of €570,000 but the Celtic boss is more interested in the week following the tie with Cluj.

Celtic play in the final of the Betfred Cup on Sunday December 8 before facing Cluj on the Thursday. After that they face a critical seven days against Hibs (December 15), Hearts (December 18) then Aberdeen at home on December 21.

Taking nine points from those three matches would be a massive boost in the race for the SPFL title with Lennon having that on his mind as he looked forward.

Looking at the demands of the December schedule he said:

It would be great to try and finish with as many points as possible but with the huge amount of games that we have between now and the break it’s imperative that we use the squad as well.

I think that it’s important to give some players game time at that level as well. So maybe players that haven’t had a chance to play will get their opportunity in some of these games without over doing it.

Nir Bitton, Moritz Bauer, Scott Sinclair, Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths could all come into the side against Cluj without noticeably weakening the starting XI. Giving Christopher Jullien, Kris Ajer, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard a midweek off could be priceless.

If Celtic can beat Rennes and Lazio win at home to Cluj the hoops will finish in top spot regardless of what happens in the final group match in Romania.