Hibs goalkeeper Adam Bogdan has emerged as a huge doubt for tonight’s Europa League match against Norwegian outfit Molde, while defender Darren McGregor has been all but ruled out of the first leg of the third qualifying round tie.
Hungarian internationalist Bogdan – the hero with a string of superb saves as Hibs held on to knock Greek side Asteras Tripolis out of the competition in the last round – is struggling with a hip injury which troubled him during the Easter Road team’s 3-0 win over Motherwell in their opening Premiership match of the season on Sunday.
And although the on-loan Liverpool keeper will be given every chance to prove his fitness, boss Neil Lennon revealed Ross Laidlaw has been put on standby to replace him in a scenario which would see untested Polish youngster Kevin Dabrowski take a seat on the bench.
Lennon said: “Adam’s struggling, but we’ll see how he is. He was sore kicking the ball on Sunday, he had to get Ryan Porteous to almost kick it out of the ground at times.
“We’ll give it as long as possible, but we’ve got a good deputy in Ross who was outstanding in Brondby when we won over there.”
McGregor sat out the visit of Motherwell with fluid on his knee, but striker Flo Kamberi, who sat on the bench throughout that match as he nursed his own knee problem, is fit, while Jamie Maclaren will also come into contention having made a second-half appearance as a substitute having returned to Hibs on a season-long loan from German club Darmstadt.
“Jamie’s fit but obviously a bit rusty,” said Lennon. “He might not start or he might – I’ll have a think about that.”
Lennon described tonight’s match against a side bossed by former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as “the biggest European game we’ve had for a long time here”, insisting the ongoing John McGinn transfer saga won’t be allowed to overshadow the occasion.
He said: “The players are very much looking forward to it. Molde are a very good outfit. They are a good counter-attacking team, they’ve got good players and in Erling Haaland they’ve got a player who’s burst on to the scene and shown he can score goals as well. They’ve got good wide men who are a threat.
“But they are beatable. We’re a decent outfit as well, albeit we’re hampered by the loss of a very important player.”