Celtic: Brendan Rodgers says Dedryck Boyata could 'absolutely' play against Suduva

Moussa Dembele scores for Celtic against Partick Thistle
Dedryck Boyata sat out Celtic's Scottish League Cup win over Partick Thistle

Celticc manager Brendan Rodgers says Dedryck Boyata could "absolutely" be back in his team for Thursday's Europa League play-off against Suduva.

The Belgium defender, 27, was missing as Celtic were eliminated from the Champions League by AEK Athens. He claimed he was injured, although boss Rodgers said he was fit to play.

Boyata trained with the under-20s on Saturday while Celtic beat Partick Thistle in their League Cup tie.

"I know he's a good guy," Rodgers said.

"I had a long chat with Dedryck the other day. We have created a wee bit of distance from what happened last week.

"Everyone makes a mistake. If there is a mistake made - I know sometimes it is not the way in the modern life - but people need a chance to redeem themselves and I would like to have him involved because he is a top-class player."

Following the 3-1 Firhill victory that propelled Celtic into the League Cup last eight, Rodgers accused "some people" of trying to "dismantle" his relationship with the club's board.

After missing out on long-time transfer target John McGinn, Celtic's defeat by Athens meant they failed to reach the Champions League group stage and suffered successive losses for the first time under his stewardship.

Rodgers said the transfer situation was "very simple".

Speaking to BT Sport, he said: "We've had a couple of targets we haven't been able to get.

"But I've always had a very, very good relationship with the board and that's the same, even though some people will try to dismantle that.

"We want to improve the team and we've got 'til the end of August to do that. If we don't, I work with the talented players we have here."

Two goals in two minutes from Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic ensured Celtic progressed to the quarter-finals with victory at Firhill, after Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo had cancelled out Leigh Griffiths' opener.

Rodgers admits his side "didn't play well" but was pleased to end a "difficult week" with a win.

"I was more concerned with our performance," the Celtic boss, who has guided the club to back-to-back domestic trebles, told BBC Scotland.

"Our pressing was too passive and our identity is very much around aggression and intensity in our press and we were nowhere near that.

"It's been a brilliant couple of seasons here and we can still have that this season. But on the back of a long week, it's something that can prey on the players' mind but this will be good for their confidence."

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