Scottish Gossip: Celtic, O'Connell, Astana, Rangers, Hibs

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Astana coach Stanimir Stoilov claims Celtic are favourites to win their Champions League third qualifying round first leg and says his side will adopt a defensive approach on Wednesday in Kazakhstan. (Herald)

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has played down his central defensive problems ahead of the first meeting against Astana, with Erik Sviatchenko, Kristoffer Ajer, Jozo Simunovic, Dedryck Boyata and Kolo Toure all unavailable. (Scotsman)

Rodgers will not hesitate to pitch defender Eoghan O'Connell, 20, in against Astana. (Daily Record)

Celtic players training
O'Connell (centre) has made six Scottish Premiership appearances for Celtic

And O'Connell is expected to face the Kazakh side. (Sun)

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon insists Celtic "have still got enough" to cope with Wednesday's encounter. (Herald)

Helsingborgs' Jordan Larsson, 19 - son of former Celtic striker Henrik - has mocked speculation linking him with Rangers. (Daily Record)

New Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who scored his first goal for the club against Stranraer on Tuesday, hopes to repay the Ibrox side's fans for their backing since his move from New York Cosmos. (Herald)

Liam Henderson
Hibs-bound again? Liam Henderson is being linked with a return to Easter Road

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon has made an official approach to take Celtic's Liam Henderson back to Easter Road, where the midfielder spent last season on loan. (Daily Record)

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes believes his side can overcome Slovenian side Maribor in the Europa League third qualifying round, with the first leg at Pittodrie on Thursday. (National)

Norwich City have made a bid for 29-year-old Fulham and Scotland striker Ross McCormack that could rise to £12m with add-ons. (Daily Mail)

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