Premier League

Foster closes on Albion return

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Thu, 20 Dec 2012 11:41:00

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is excited about the "beauty" of their UEFA Champions League draw against Italian champions Juventus.

Celtic will face the Turin side in February after finishing second in their group behind Champions League favourites Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Juventus finished top of Group E, which also included Chelsea, and they beat the English side 3-0 in November.

Lennon told Sky Sports News: "In terms of glamour it's a beauty. Juventus are one of the great traditional European teams. In terms of qualification it's going to be very, very tough. They're current Italian champions and finished their group very strongly.

"We will take it as it comes, we're looking forward to the games now and I'm sure our supporters will be as well. We believe over two games that anything is possible. Juventus' team are littered with world class stars and they've been very consistent over the last 18 months and they've got a great winning mentality - but so have we."

Celtic have a fantastic home record in the Champions League, having only lost two of 23 matches at Parkhead - both to Barcelona, who they defeated 2-1 at home this year.

Lennon is looking forward to welcoming the Italian champions to Glasgow, saying: "Juventus is just another huge game for us to enjoy and relish and anything can happen over the two games. We're in the competition, we want to go as far as we can and we believe we can do it.

"Celtic Park's a very special arena on a European night and I'm sure they'll raise the roof again to bring Juventus to Glasgow. In terms of the draw, it could have been kinder but it could have been worse."

The first leg in Turin will be played on either February 12/13 or 19/20, with the return match at Parkhead on March 5/6 or 12/13.

Foster has been sidelined by hernia problems since early November but is back in training after two operations and could reclaim his first-team place from Boaz Myhill, who has deputised for the last seven games, this weekend.

"I played in the Southampton game (on November 5), when we won 2-0, and I couldn't kick with my left foot because every time I kicked the ball there was a nerve getting pressed underneath my hernia, which was quite painful," Foster told the club's website.

"I had to kick with my right foot because I had no pain on my right side.

"I got away with it because I could do all of the goalkeeping stuff fine, but as soon as I tried to kick a ball it was jumping out of your skin time!

"I was never coming off, because it was only kicking with my left foot that I couldn't do.

"I've had groin issues recently but they think all of that was connected to the hernia, so hopefully this will solve all of that. It was really a double-hernia operation.

"I started training properly yesterday so we will see how training goes this week and take it from there. I trained fine yesterday. I felt absolutely fine."

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