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Brendan Rodgers expects Hibernian to provide Celtic with another stern test

Brendan Rodgers expects Hibernian to provide Celtic with another stern test
© Reuters
The Hoops are two points clear at the top.

Brendan Rodgers is expecting yet another exacting encounter for his Celtic side when they visit Easter Road on Sunday.

The Hoops are still on a high after reaching the last-32 of the Europa League despite a 2-1 home defeat to Group B winners Salzburg on Thursday night.

The thrilling match against the classy Austrian outfit was the fourth of nine games in December for the Parkhead side and the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders will have to summon up their reserves to go again when they take on Neil Lennon’s Hibernian in Leith.

The Northern Irishman said: “The games are coming thick and fast and we are putting a lot of energy into a lot of our games.

“The guys have been amazing. The level they have been at, the concentration, the effort that they are putting into every game, we have played a season worth of games already and the guys keep showing that mentality, character and humility to keep fighting and running.

“We have been playing at a really high level domestically.

“It will be a tough game for us. I am sure Neil will have his team quite energetic.

“You know what it is like playing a European game and what you face on the Sunday but we will be very focused, we will try to recover as best we can and go there expecting a tough game.”

It took a late and unlikely goal from bottom-placed Rosenborg against RB Leipzig in Germany to bring Celtic Park to life and make the Hoops’ result irrelevant.

The Scottish champions ultimately retained second place, two points ahead of the German side, to go into Monday’s draw.

Rodgers admitted it was a “strange” experience having to look out for a result from elsewhere.

He said: “You are always looking at your own team and their performance but of course it gets to 2-0 and you hear a cheer.

“I knew something was going on because of the celebrations but it was just great to get through, that was the whole objective. It doesn’t really matter how you do it.”

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers3127407496585
2Celtic31207465234267
3Hibernian30157841281352
4Aberdeen3113993230248
5Livingston30117123636040
6St Mirren31109122934-539
7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd31811122843-1535
8St Johnstone31810133240-834
9Motherwell3188152846-1832
10Ross County3075182254-3226
11Kilmarnock3174202743-1625
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3067172957-2825

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