Football just said:

Brendan Rodgers rues Celtic injury list before Scottish Cup test

Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic have been hit by “bad luck” on the injury front this season but is looking to extend their defence of the William Hill Scottish Cup against Partick Thistle on Saturday.

Dedryck Boyata is set to remain absent and also miss the first leg of the Hoops’ Europa League encounter with Zenit St Petersburg due to the groin injury he suffered against Kilmarnock last weekend.

But fellow central defender Kristoffer Ajer should shake off an Achilles knock to face Thistle alongside Jozo Simunovic, who sat out Celtic’s 1-0 defeat by Killie because of the artificial surface at Rugby Park.

Asked whether Boyata would be fit for the visit of the Russians on February 15, manager Rodgers said: “I don’t think he will be, the medical team are saying it is probably going to be around a couple of weeks.”

Still unavailable for the visit of the Maryhill side are Craig Gordon (knee), Leigh Griffiths (calf), Marvin Compper (calf strain), Jonny Hayes (broken leg), Tom Rogic, Anthony Ralston (both knee), Stuart Armstrong (hernia operation) and Patrick Roberts (hamstring) but Rodgers will go strong against the Jags.

He said: “One or two of the guys have started to return to training, the likes of Tom Rogic and Patrick Roberts, but they are still a wee bit of time off the games.

“We will put a strong team out. I am always confident that whatever team we put out will look to get the result.

“I don’t think there is any rotation that I need to think about, it is just about picking the team to win the game.

“I think it has just been one of those seasons for us, we have had a number of injuries this year so it is a lot of bad luck really.

“But whatever squad or team we put out, we always look to win the game and that is our idea for Saturday, to look to get through to the quarter-finals, but Partick always give us a tough game.”

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