Celtic v Udinese: Team news and Preview

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Updated: September 29, 2011

Celtic striker Gary Hooper has shrugged off an ankle knock in time for tonight’s Europa League visit of Udinese and he is expected to lead the line for Neil Lennon’s men.

Kris Commons has recovered from a groin strain and illness but has just started his rehabilitation and will not be considered for the home side, while left-back Badr El-Kaddouri is cup-tied.

Long-term injured Emilio Izaguirre, Kelvin Wilson and Cha Du-ri are still out, while Scott Brown is hoping to have recovered from his ankle injury for the game against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.

The SPL giants will go into tonight’s clash as underdogs against a strongly favoured Udinese side who are currently joint-top of Serie A and who beat Ligue 1 side Rennes in their first group fixture.

Celtic have endured a turbulent beginning to their Europa League campaign after suffering defeats in the away qualifier to Sion in Switzerland and their game against Atletico Madrid in Spain.

Despite being the least favoured of the group’s four teams to reach the knock-out stages, Celtic will go into tonight’s clash on the back of a 2-0 win over Inverness last weekend.

In Udinese team news, the visitors are expected to be without any experienced attacking players for tonight’s game after head coach Francesco Guidolin granted star striker Antonio di Natale time off, admitting that he was “tired”.

The only striker who has travelled for the Italian side is 17-year-old Davide Marsura who will start on the bench.

It is expected that Diego Fabbrini – the 21-year-old attacking midfield player – will back up Almen Abdi, with the midfielder being asked to lead the line.

The game will kick-off at 18.00 in Celtic Park tonight, Thursday.

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