Fraser Forster ready for return as Celtic plan changes

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Interview - Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Manager Neil Lennon will make changes for Saturday's visit to Inverness as Celtic prepare for next week's Champions League tie with Juventus.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster returns after three weeks out with a neck injury.

Georgios Samaras and Emilio Izaguirre will not feature and are rated "50/50" by Lennon for Tuesday.

James Forrest, who withdrew from midweek Scotland duty, is likely to be given further rest as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

The 21-year-old winger made his first appearance since December in last Sunday's Scottish Cup win at Raith Rovers, scoring the second goal in a 3-0 success.

"We have no fresh injury worries from the international games," revealed Lennon.

"But James has had two scans this week, the first one was all clear so we are waiting on the results of the second one.

"Whether he is in the squad this weekend or not we don't know yet but we are hoping if we get the all clear he will be in the squad for Tuesday night."

Describing the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie as the "biggest games in years" for Celtic, Lennon refused to rule out the possibility of defender Efe Ambrose featuring.

The centre-half will be playing with Nigeria in Sunday's African Cup of Nations final.

"I'm delighted for Ambrose and his country," said Lennon. "I don't know his travel arrangements after the weekend but we'll see what condition he's in.

"We want him back as soon as possible, obviously.

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster
Forster returns for Celtic after three weeks out with a neck injury

"He has not been around us for a month so it might be a gamble putting him in.

"We are going to leave it as late as possible with Georgios and Emilio.

"It is 50-50 at the minute [for Juve game]. Emilio has probably got a better chance than Samaras although they have worked very hard this week and we have been very aggressive with their rehabilitation.

"The signs are promising but no guarantees just yet."

Juventus are three points clear of Napoli at the top of Serie A but Lennon does not believe they will be a more difficult prospect than Barcelona, who were defeated in the group stage at Celtic Park in November.

"Juventus are a formidable team, a daunting prospect, but I think the players have been looking at this game for quite a while and I am looking for a big night from them," said Lennon.

"We have been overdosing on them the last few weeks in terms of DVD analysis. Juventus and Barcelona are two different sides, two different mentalities.

"I think Juventus are more pragmatic. Barcelona do a lot of things off the cuff because they are so good.

"Juventus are very rigid in their formation, three at the back, one sitting and two wing-backs getting forward.

"They are a little bit more defensive-minded than Barcelona and they will be very difficult to break down although they probably don't have the flair or quality in forward areas than Barcelona."