Early Celtic team news: Neil Lennon confirms Albian Ajeti will start vs Motherwell

By John McGinley

February 6, 2021

Neil Lennon has confirmed Albian Ajeti will start his first home match for Celtic since November.

The Swiss striker surprisingly hasn’t started much at Celtic Park this season.

He has come off the bench plenty, but the only games at Paradise he’s been in the starting eleven for were against AC Milan, Livingston, Hibernian and Ross County.

Not exactly the kind of sustained opportunities you’d expect for an expensive summer signing.

He was brought back into the starting fold away to Kilmarnock on Tuesday night.

Home matches could suit the striker better, however, with Celtic potentially enjoying more possession and more freedom in the opposition half.

Ajeti has made the headlines this week after the Scottish FA’s pursuit to hand him a ban for simulation.

The club has appealed that though, allowing the striker to feature against Motherwell this afternoon.

Lennon told The Daily Record: “I don’t think he will miss games, but that’s just my opinion. And he’s starting [against Motherwell].

“He will have all the support from me, the team and the club. I don’t think he has a case to answer.

“If there’s no contact, I could understand the charge of simulation, but there is contact. You can see he’s made contact with his foot or the back of his ankle with his arm or with his hand and he’s gone down.

“He’s done what any other player would do around the country and around the world. This for me is pretty pedantic.”

Albian Ajeti, scoring for Celtic against Kilmarnock / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Albian Ajeti will likely start with Odsonne Edouard at Celtic Park

The smart money would be on the manager retaining the strike partnership from Rugby Park. Leigh Griffiths has again fallen out of favour.

The Ajeti and Odsonne Edouard combination is one some fans have wanted to be given a proper chance for a while now.

Ajeti was one of our big signings last year and we need to see him make progress between now and the end of the season.

The likelihood is that Edouard will leave this summer, leaving Ajeti as our number one forward. If he’s not up to speed by then, we’ll be at risk of another sluggish start to a season.

In other news, the striker was said to be ‘bewildered’ by the Scottish FA’s recent charge.