Celtic's Moussa Dembele 'unlikely' to face Rangers, says Brendan Rodgers
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Last Updated: 31/08/18 9:47pm
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits it is "highly unlikely" that Moussa Dembele will face Rangers on Sunday following his reaction to a failed bid by Lyon.
Dembele walked off the training pitch early in Friday's session after a chat with Rodgers.
"It's very important I protect the environment," Rodgers said. "It's best for him to be inside."
The French striker earlier posted a series of messages on his verified Twitter account claiming that someone had failed to keep his word, and liked several other posts which backed his stance and criticised the club.
When asked if Dembele would play on Sunday, Rodgers said: "Highly unlikely. We will see, you never know."
On the Twitter posts, Rodgers added: "At this time of the season there is always a narrative around players and agents trying to force moves. It is disappointing. I would be disappointed if it was [aimed] at myself."
Meanwhile, Rodgers thinks that bringing in better players is the simple answer to Steven Gerrard's early success at Rangers.
The former Liverpool and England captain, who worked under Rodgers at Anfield, is unbeaten in 12 games since he took over at Ibrox in the summer and has taken the Light Blues into the group stages of the Europa League, where they have been joined by the Parkhead men.
Gerrard will experience an Old Firm game for the first time as Gers boss when he takes his side to Celtic Park on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Football.
Rodgers, unbeaten in 11 fixtures against the Ibrox side since he took over in 2016, simplified the reasons behind Rangers' resurgence.
He said: "There is no doubt that looking at them and analysing them, that Steven has done a very good job.
"He has pulled together a lot of players and they are clear in how they work.
"What is key is that they have brought in some good players. Players at a higher level which has allowed them to work in a better way.
"He has had a very good pre-season but it is not so much the manager, and who are you are up against, whether it is Graeme Murty or Mark [Warburton] or Pedro [Caixinha], it doesn't matter.
"It is really about the players on the field and you try to organise your team to play against the opponent.
"For us, it is a great game to finish this phase of games. We have had two really good results at home.
"We always said we would like to finish this first phase of the season with three home wins and that will be the focus."