Hoops skipper in race to face Ajax

Celtic captain Scott Brown

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Celtic captain Scott Brown has admitted he is in a race to be fit for Celtic’s must-win Europa League Group A clash against Dutch outfit Ajax at Parkhead on Thursday.

The influential 30-year-old Scotland international midfielder picked up a knock in Saturday’s goalless Scottish Premiership home draw against Kilmarnock when he went into a late challenge to stop the speedy Tope Obadeyi from getting in on goal.

Brown limped off the pitch at the end and claimed he had to make the tackle to prevent the side from possibly slipping to a defeat which would have heaped more pressure on the shoulders of boss Ronny Deila.

However it leaves him facing a battle to be fully fit for the visit of an Ajax side, which is currently top of the Dutch Eredivisie with 10 wins from their opening 13 matches.

Both sides’ form in Europe has been disappointing as Celtic are bottom of the group on three points with Ajax one place one point better off.

Therefore maximum points are essential to both as they look to pinch second spot from Fenerbahce in the remaining two games and join leaders Molde in the knockout stages. And Brown revealed he will do all he can to make sure he is in the starting XI.

He said in the Daily Record: “I am a wee bit tender but I am getting there. But we will see how it is over the next couple of days.

“It was one of those last-minute tackles I had to make otherwise he was one-on-one with keeper Craig Gordon.

“I made the tackle and fell awkwardly on my knee. But I hope I will be okay.

“It’s a huge game for the club and one I don’t want to miss.”

Celts are 2.38 to secure a victory on Thursday, whilst Ajax are available at 2.88 and the draw is a 3.30.

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