Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer cleared to play for Norway

By David Walton

March 19, 2019

Kristoffer Ajer’s injury concerns have been dismissed by Norway boss Lars Lagerback.

The Norwegian centre-back was struggling for large parts of the second half on Sunday with what seemed like a knock to the jaw. Ajer was consistently seen trying to get some feeling back into it at Dens Park against Dundee.

In the end, came off for fellow defender Filip Benkovic. Concerns for Celtic fans immediately pointed in the direction of the Glasgow derby on March 31st.

Kristoffer Ajer suffered a knock in the 1-0 win at Dens Park (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Fortunately, however, Lagerback has shrugged off any concerns about his fitness. Ahead of their opening Euro 2020 qualification match against Spain, Lagerback said the following in the Daily Record:

“Kristoffer is doing well. I have met him today and there are no problems.

“He got a knock during the game, but it wasn’t dangerous and he will be an important player for us in Spain.”

A huge couple of weeks for Ajer

So it looks as though Ajer could very well start at the Mestalla. Norway will face Spain before taking on Mikael Lustig’s Sweden on Tuesday. Both matches could be feisty, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how well Ajer progresses through them.

Fotunately, however, this is a big weight off of supporters’ minds ahead of the Rangers fixure. With Benkovic back from injury, Celtic have the luxury (as it stands) of featuring a reliable centre-back pairing against Steven Gerrard’s men.

Neil Lennon will be watching the internationals through his fingertips (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Dedryck Boyata is the other injury concern at the back after missing the squad to face Dundee. He’s yet to drop out of the Belgium national squad, however, showing that he must be good to go too.

It’s going to be a hectic week, with a host of Celtic players away on international duty. The likes of Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor, Scott Bain, Oliver Burke, James Forrest, Ajer, Boyata, and Lustig will be worth watching. You would expect all of those players to start against Rangers.

Unfortunately, however, the internationals come first. Here’s hoping there’s nothing to report injury wise.