Coronavirus: Celtic 'hopeful' on Kris Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi availability

Norway's Nations League game against Romania called off after squad was unable to travel to Bucharest following Omar Elabdellaoui's positive coronavirus test; Norwegian FA say final Nations League group game against Austria on Wednesday will go ahead after new squad called up.

Kris Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi are expected to resume training with Celtic this week and not to miss Saturday’s game against Hibs
Image: Kris Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi are expected to resume training with Celtic this week and not to miss Saturday’s game against Hibs

Celtic are 'hopeful' Kris Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi will not be asked to isolate for 10 days after a positive coronavirus test in Norway‘s squad forced their Nations League game against Romania to be cancelled.

The pair returned to Scotland on Sunday, after the Norway squad were ordered by government and health officials not to travel to Bucharest following a positive test for defender Omar Elabdellaoui.

However, Celtic sources told Sky Sports News Ajer and Elyounoussi have not been identified as close contacts of Elabdellaoui, and have returned three negative tests since the latter tested positive.

The club are confident the players will be cleared by Scottish football's Joint Response Group to resume training this week, and not need to miss Saturday's game against Hibernian.

Norwegian health authorities banned the national team from travelling to Romania and ordered the entire squad to quarantine for 10 days after Elabdellaoui's positive test.

Health officials in Norway have confirmed the final decision rests with Scottish health authorities - in Ajer and Elyounoussi's case, this means NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Erling Haaland is expected to miss Norway's game against Austria after the entire squad was told to isolate after a positive test for the virus was recorded
Image: Erling Haaland will miss Norway's game against Austria after the entire squad was told to isolate after a positive test for coronavirus was recorded

Norway pick new squad for Austria game after Covid outbreak

Despite the Romania cancellation, the Norwegian FA have said their final Nations League group game against Austria on Wednesday will go ahead.

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In a statement, the Norwegian Football Federation said the game against Austria would go ahead and a new squad coached by U21 boss Leif Gunnar Smerud would be presented at a press conference on Monday morning.

The players selected will fly to Oslo and observe a strict quarantine at an airport hotel before departing for the game, the NFF explained.

Austria, who beat Northern Ireland 2-1 on Sunday, top Group 1 in League B on 12 points ahead of Norway, who are second on nine points.

The Norwegians are likely to be handed a 3-0 defeat by UEFA after their no-show in Romania.

If that is the case then Northern Ireland would be consigned to the bottom of the table and relegation from League B.

"These have been demanding assessments, but we are now happy that the match can be played, both sportingly and out of consideration for our obligations to UEFA and the tournament we participate in," NFF general secretary Pal Bjerketvedt said.

Winning the group would mean Norway gets promoted to the top flight of the Nations League and provide another possible route to the World Cup finals, which they have not qualified for since 1998.

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