BRENDAN Rogers last night backed Leigh Griffiths to take full advantage of an extended run in the Celtic first team and atone for the loss of top scorer Moussa Dembele.

Dembele suffered a hamstring strain in the first half of his side’s comfortable 2-0 win over Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on Sunday afternoon.

The 20-year-old, who has netted 32 goals in all competitions during the 2016/17 campaign, is now a serious doubt for the final against Aberdeen at the national stadium on Saturday, May 27.

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It is a blow for Rodgers whose team, winners of the Betfred Cup and Ladbrokes Premiership already this season, has the chance to complete a rare treble in that match against Derek McInnes’s side.

However, the Irishman is confident that Griffiths, who replaced Dembele at the weekend, will grasp his opportunity and supply the goals which secure a clean sweep of domestic trophies.

The 26-year-old has lost his place in the Celtic side to Dembele this season and was publicly rebuked by Rodgers at the start of the year for his lack of professionalism off the park.

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The Scotland striker - who has only scored one goal, against Championship strugglers St. Mirren in the Scottish Cup last month, this year – has made a full recovery from the calf strain that had sidelined him.

Rodgers believes the man who netted 40 goals last term and won numerous Player of the Year awards will grasp his opportunity and ensure that Celtic enjoy a successful end to their season.

"Leigh's fit and available,” he said. “He came on against Rangers and made a really good impact on the game. I'm fortunate that I have two really good strikers I'm happy to stick in and play. With Moussa being out it'll give Leigh the chance to come in.

"When he's on the pitch for a length of time it always looks like he's going to score. He's a real threat. From 25 metres in he's top class.

"Clearly the final is the big focus and we will prepare the team to be ready for that one. We’re high in confidence and we have been all year. We want to finish the season as strong as we possibly can and we still have work to do.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers has confirmed that Ryan Christie, the Celtic midfielder who is on loan at Aberdeen, will be unable to play in the final despite scoring a free-kick as the the Pittodrie club defeated holders Hibernian 3-2 on Saturday.

"Ryan won't be able to play in the final,” he said. "It's unfortunate for the boy - he scored a really good goal too against Hibs. It was really clever."