Europa League: Celtic's Nir Bitton and Mikey Johnston ready for return against Cluj

Cluj head coach Dan Petrescu (right) and his players arrive at Glasgow Airport
Dan Petrescu (right) and his Cluj squad arrived at Glasgow Airport on Tuesday
Europa League, Group E: Celtic v Cluj
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Date: Thursday, 3 October Kick-off: 17:55 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW & BBC Sport website

Midfielder Nir Bitton and forward Mikey Johnston have returned to fitness in time to be considered for a Celtic start against Cluj on Thursday.

The Scottish champions host the Romanians, who beat Celtic in Champions League qualifying, in their second game in Europa League Group E.

"Nir Bitton is back in training now, Mikey Johnston is back in training now," Lennon told Celtic TV.

"We are looking healthy, we have no fresh injuries."

Right-back Moritz Bauer and midfielder Tom Rogic have minor ailments.

But, with striker Leigh Griffiths also vying for a return, central defenders Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry, plus winger Daniel Arzani, are Celtic's only long-term absentees.

"There's a few bumps and bruises," Lennon said. "Moritz ankle is still a little bit swollen. Tom Rogic has a tiny little bit of fluid around the knee, but he should train on Wednesday.

"Griff is back in training now, but obviously he has missed a few weeks of training."

Lennon is "happy" to have the chance to make amends for that 4-3 defeat at home to Cluj in August that edged the Romanians through on aggregate.

Dan Petrescu's side went on to lose to Slavia Prague in the play-off but started the Europa League group stage with a fine win over Lazio as Celtic drew with Rennes in France.

"They have started the group very well," Lennon said. "People talk about revenge, retribution. It's a motivation for the players because it's so recent, but in terms of the game, it's at home in Europe, it's one we want to win.

"We got off to a great start in the group as well, so it's important we maximise home advantage."

While Celtic lost their 100% domestic record for the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Hibernian on Saturday, Cluj romped to a 3-0 win at home to fourth-top Gaz Metan Medias to go two points clear at the top of Liga 1 after Universitatea Craiova beat Viitorul to leapfrog the visitors.

Petrescu's side suffered a shock exit in the Romanian Cup last Wednesday, but the head coach had fielded a second string side as they lost on penalties to second-tier Botosani after a 2-2 draw and changed the whole starting XI at the weekend.

Lennon says his side must learn from a "poor tempo" start against Cluj in that Champions League qualifier that left his side "a goal down and chasing the tie".

"In terms of their style of play, they are very direct and very effective," he added. "I think it's going to be an energetic, high-tempo game and I think that will suit us."

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