Lennon expects Christie and Tierney to get equal treatment

Celtic's Ryan Christie and Arsenal's Kieran Tierney are both in self-isolation.

Lennon expects Christie and Tierney to get equal treatment SNS Group

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes the club and its fans would have questions to ask if Kieran Tierney plays for Arsenal this weekend but Ryan Christie misses the derby against Rangers.

The two players were forced to self-isolate after having close contact with Stuart Armstrong while on international duty, with the Scotland midfielder having tested positive for coronavirus.

Christie and Tierney have both tested negative since but are both required to isolate for 14 days from October 6.

However, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta suggested on Thursday that the English Premier League club were pushing to have Tierney made available for his side’s match against Manchester City.

Lennon said Celtic were making their own appeal to free Christie to play and said they would find it unacceptable if both players were not treated in the same way.

“We are of the understanding from stories in the media and phone calls that have been made that Kieran Tierney is eligible to play for Arsenal,” he said.

“If that is the case we have been pushing hard to get Ryan involved as well.

“He is in the same situation as Ryan was. He has had two tests with us, both negative, so from our point of view he is good to go and we would be very confused and want answers, that Kieran Tierney is allowed to play and Ryan has been refused to play.

“It would be very confusing and I think our supporters would want to know the answers to that as well. At the minute it is very much in the air.”

The Celtic boss revealed that Christie was “devastated” at missing the derby and said that club chief executive Peter Lawwell was leading the push to get clarification.

He said: “Peter and the board have been pushing this since day one and we have had no clarification, if anything we have just been met with complete resistance so far.

“Ryan was devastated. They felt they followed procedures properly and he is probably guilty by association but as I say he is negative and has been for the last week to 10 days.

“So we have a fit and able player not being allowed to play which we find, if this scenario pans out that Kieran can play, we find that very confusing.” 

Celtic will face Rangers without Israeli duo Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed, who both caught coronavirus while on international duty. Odsonne Edouard, who tested positive while away with France Under-21s will be assessed ahead of the game, having only arrived in Scotland on Friday after completing his own spell of self-isolation.

Albian Ajeti is fit after recovering from a hamstring injury.

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