Team news ahead of the Europa League and Europa League Conference qualifying second leg matches involving Celtic, Rangers, Tottenham, Aberdeen and St Johnstone.
Europa League play-offs
AZ Alkmaar vs Celtic (tot: 0-2) – Kick-off at 7.15 p.m.
Celtic beat St Mirren 6-0 at Parkhead on Sunday for their sixth straight victory with all players coming out unscathed, and Ange Postecoglou insists there will be no change in their attacking outlook in Holland.
“I think this is the best approach on our part,” Hoops manager said. “If we go out there and try to defend for 90 minutes, I just think you’re asking for trouble.
“They are a good team and we know that at home they are going to play football at a pretty high pace and high intensity to score a goal. If we stay seated we are just going to put the pressure on ourselves.
“Our best football has been the other way, going forward, and if we score goals it puts more pressure on the opposition. We will not change our approach, this is the best strategy for we.”
New Legia Warsaw signing right-back Josip Juranovic is not eligible for the game.
Alashkert vs Rangers (total: 0-1) – Kick-off at 6 p.m.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is self-isolating and will miss his Europa League play-off against Alashkert on Thursday after the club confirmed a Covid-19 outbreak.
Captain James Tavernier, Ryan Kent, Scott Wright, Calvin Bassey and goalkeepers Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin also did not travel for Thursday’s second leg in Armenia – which Rangers lead 1-0.
Leon Balogun, Filip Helander, Borna Barisic, Joe Aribo, Cedric Itten, Alfredo Morelos, Connor Goldson, Nathan Patterson, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Scott Arfield and Ianis Hagi were among the group that traveled.
Europa Conference League play-offs
Tottenham vs Pacos de Ferreira (tot. 0-1) – Kick-off at 7.45 p.m.
Tottenham head coach Nuno Espirito Santo will make the decision on whether or not to pitch Harry Kane in the second leg after the forward said he is staying at the club this summer.
With the Kane situation settled, Nuno must now take care of Tanguy Ndombele’s future. The club’s record has yet to be signed this season and has reportedly asked to leave the club.
When asked if this was true, Nuno replied: “I will not answer that. For this game he is not on the UEFA list so he is not available for ( Thursday). Nothing has changed, no, nothing has changed. “
Cristian Romero is back in the frame after missing the win over Wolves with a blow received late in the first leg in Portugal. Joe Rodon and Cameron Carter-Vickers will not be options, however.
Asked if he was about to make any changes again or if he would take a different approach with us tied 1-0, Nuno replied: “It has nothing to do with the outcome of the first leg has to do with a lot of things that we have to figure out.
“The trip this week is totally different, we are all together, it allows us to make different decisions as these are different circumstances. We still have to decide, but it’s a game to be won.”
St Johnstone vs LASK (total: 1-1) – Kick-off at 7 p.m.
Callum Davidson relishes the prospect of having key midfielder David Wotherspoon in his St Johnstone side for Thursday’s Conference Europa League second leg with LASK.
The former Hibernian player, 31, has been out of the Saints’ last four games after contracting coronavirus.
However, he trained this week and is in the running to face the Austrian side in Perth in the return leg of a delicately balanced 1-1 draw after the first leg in Klagenfurt last week.
The manager will be able to call on most of his players but Craig Bryson is absent and Liam Gordon is “50/50”.
Aberdeen vs Qarabag (total: 0-1) – Kick-off at 7.45 p.m.
Aberdeen has been shaken by the news that defender Andrew Considine is out until after Christmas after undergoing surgery on his crusader.
The 34-year-old Scotland international injured his knee in the first leg of the Europa League conference play-offs against Qarabag in Baku last week and underwent surgery on Wednesday morning.
Dons manager Stephen Glass has confirmed Ryan Hedges will be out until the next international break due to a hamstring issue.
Jonny Hayes and Connor McLennan will have every chance to prove their fitness after suffering punches against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday, while Jack MacKenzie is available again after recovering from an injury.
What is the Europa League Conference?
The UEFA Europa Conference League will be UEFA’s third club competition and will take place alongside the Champions League and the Europa League.
The idea behind the Europa Conference League is to give more clubs a taste of European football, especially teams from countries that are struggling to qualify for the other two UEFA competitions. But there is also a place to be gained for English clubs.
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