Neil Lennon says Greg Taylor is “ready to play” against Rennes after announcing that Jonny Hayes wouldn’t make the Europa League clash.

The Irishman started Saturday’s win over Livingston but was taken off at the beginning of the second-half after failing to shake off a knock. He was replaced by Taylor who performed well in what was just his second Hoops appearance.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But that tally looks set to rise to three tomorrow as the former Kilmarnock man prepares for what looks like an almost certain European debut for the club given the absence of Hayes and fellow left-back Boli Bolingoli.

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Taylor has actually played in the competition already this season for the Ayrshire side. He featured in both legs of their shock qualification exit to Connah’s Quay Nomads but is still eligible to play for Lennon’s men.

We’ve only seen glimpses of the Scotland international so far. He played the vast majority of his football in a midweek win over St. Mirren earlier this month, and also featured against Livi, but the visit of the French Cup winners will be an altogether different task.

 

Fellow left-backs Hayes and Bolingoli have set the bar in their European outings and big things will be expected of Taylor.

(Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

The youngster is clearly expecting to be given the big chance to impress at Celtic Park judging by his comments on Wednesday afternoon. (Celtic Twitter feed)

“I can’t wait to be involved. It’s a massive game to play in.

“It’s been good to get minutes at Celtic and for Scotland. It’s been a good couple of weeks so I hope to keep that going.

“Tomorrow night is a chance to win the group and hopefully we can do that. As the gaffer says, it’s important to keep our focus on the here and now.”

Taylor wasn’t the only bit of good news in pre Rennes presser

Lennon also set up a potential return for long-term absentee Mikey Johnston by revealing that he was available for selection. The youngster has been missing since September’s derby victory over Rangers at Ibrox.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Taylor hadn’t even signed for the club at that stage, highlighting just how long Johnston has been out for. His return is likely to act as another boost to a Celtic squad really beginning to motor this season.

With top spot there to be clinched tomorrow, it really could be another magical Paradise evening.

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