Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths backs fringe players

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths

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Striker Leigh Griffiths believes there’s enough quality in the Celtic squad to cope with the absence of a number of key players in their crucial Europa League clash with Ajax on Thursday.

Earlier this week Bhoys manager Ronny Deila confirmed that captain Scott Brown faces up to three months on the sidelines after picking up a knee injury during the weekend draw with Kilmarnock.

Fellow midfielder Kris Commons will also miss the match at Parkhead on Thursday with a hamstring injury, while Nir Bitton and Stefan Johansen are both suspended for the must-win encounter.

The Hoops are currently bottom of Group A with just two points from their opening four matches and they must realistically win both their remaining matches against the Dutch side and Fenerbahce to have any chance of progressing to the knockout stages.

The lengthy list of absentees has made their task even harder, but frontman Griffiths is confident there is enough quality within the squad to ensure they get the results they need.

He said: “It’s a big blow for us – they are big game players, but it gives an opportunity for someone else to come in and stake a claim for a place. It’s going to be difficult for them but they wouldn’t be at Celtic if they weren’t good players.”

The Scotland international knows his side face an uphill task in qualifying from the group, but he believes a victory over Frank de Boer’s team could be the springboard they need to progress.

He continued: “If we don’t perform then we aren’t going to go through but if we give ourselves a good chance of getting three points then we go to Fenerbahce for the last game with a lot of confidence.”

Celtic are the slight favourites at 2.50 to secure a victory in Glasgow, while the visitors are available at 2.80 and the draw is on offer at 3.40.

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