Zenit boss refuses to rule Branislav Ivanovic out of Celtic clash

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Zenit St Petersburg boss Roberto Mancini will see a "much different" Scott Sinclair when their paths meet again for Europa League clash on Thursday night, according to the Celtic winger.

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Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt for the match with an eye injury.

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He was quoted by the Daily Record as saying on Wednesday: "Maybe Branislav can play or go on the bench or play". "He has a problem with his eye but he is getting better, although he is not 100 per cent yet", said the former Manchester City manager after arriving at Parkhead, where Ivanovic joined the rest of his team-mates for a training session. "We will decide tomorrow".

"We respect them, but we also see it as an opportunity and we're going to hopefully take a lot of positivity and energy into the game and see what happens".

Having dropped out of the Champions League, where they came up against Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Anderlecht, Celtic now welcome to Glasgow a Russian side whose resources dwarf those available to the Scottish Premiership leaders.

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Finland and OAR, teams that were expected to showcase their recent growth in PyeongChang, unfortunately, came up short. The winners of those games will face off for the gold medal, while the losers will play for bronze.

But Mancini is refusing to look too closely at those painful results against two of Europe's biggest superpowers. The supporters always push the team.

Ivanovic, who made 377 outings for Chelsea during his time in England, has been a regular feature among the Zenit first team this season, with 27 appearances across all competitions, missing two of their six Europa League group games as they picked up five wins and one draw.

"Our objective was to get through the group stages of the Champions League, which was a great effort by the players".

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