Celtic V St Johnstone at Celtic Park : Match Preview

By
24 January 2017
Celtic V St Johnstone - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Leigh Griffiths back in contention for Celtic

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is back in contention for the Ladbrokes Premiership visit of St Johnstone after missing Sunday's victory over Albion Rovers with a tight calf.

Erik Sviatchenko returns from suspension but Mikael Lustig is a doubt after coming off against Rovers with a stiff back, Kouassi Eboue is still not ready for his debut and Tom Rogic (ankle) remains out.

Skipper Scott Brown is set to make his 400th appearance for Celtic on Wednesday night.

The 31-year-old is in his 10th season at Celtic Park and quickly won over manager Brendan Rodgers when the former Liverpool boss took charge last summer.

Rodgers said: "It's a remarkable achievement by a top-class professional.

"I didn't know that's what it was but to play that number of games at a club this size, your professionalism, your enthusiasm, your energy for the game and your commitment to being a top professional has to be there.

"I've said it on many occasions since I walked in the door here and my general first impressions on him have been very, very positive.

"And he's a remarkable leader. I have to say, working with him on a day-to-day basis, the players in the changing room take a great lead from him.

"He's at the very front from the very first steps we make on the training field, the warm-up, right from the very, very start he sets an incredible example.

"He shows a great example to the other players and he is playing at the top of his game this season. So 400 would be great for him but I think there is quite a few more to come as well."

Celtic can equal a 50-year-old club record for a 26-match unbeaten start to the domestic season on Wednesday night but St Johnstone striker Steven MacLean is in no mood to stand back and admire his opponents.

MacLean felt he and his team-mates sat off the champions far too much in their previous meeting this season, when Celtic led 3-0 at the break before claiming a 4-2 win at McDiarmid Park in August.

"We have been there before and beat them so we will go there with confidence," said MacLean.

"It's quite clear he (Rodgers) has brought a different dimension to them: loads of pace and power in the team and very dynamic from all areas. So it will be a very difficult game but I think there are weaknesses there as well.

"If you look back at the game at the start of the season, I think we were probably a bit too respectful of them early in the game. In the second half we had a bit of a go and we got ourselves back in the game, albeit they scored a late goal to make it quite comfortable.

"We are under no illusions, it's going to be a difficult game, but I think we have strength in areas we can hurt them as well."

St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson is back in the squad after recovering from illness.

Keith Watson will make his Ladbrokes Premiership debut for Saints with fellow right-back Richard Foster suspended.

Michael Coulson (calf) and Ally Gilchrist (groin) remain on the sidelines.






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