Scottish Premier League briefing

Team news and statistics for the weekend's action in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League.

Last Updated: 08/02/13 at 18:18 Post Comment

Fraser Forster: Returns for Celtic

Fraser Forster: Returns for Celtic

Current league positions in brackets

Saturday, February 9

Aberdeen (6) v St Mirren (11)

Aberdeen could have Gary Naysmith and Ryan Jack back in their squad - manager Craig Brown believes the pair are close to full fitness after returning to training following lengthy absences. Andrew Considine (broken leg) and Chris Clark (broken ankle) are out for the rest of the season.

Buddies boss Danny Lennon has no fresh injury worries and could name a similar squad to the one which defeated St Johnstone last week. Darren McGregor (knee) and Thomas Reilly (ankle) remain sidelined.

Last season: Aberdeen 0 St Mirren 0, St Mirren 1 Aberdeen 1, Aberdeen 2 St Mirren 2, St Mirren 1 Aberdeen 0

Last five league matches: Aberdeen W D L D L; St Mirren D W D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) 16; Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 14

Referee: John Beaton (Scotland).

Dundee Utd (7) v Hearts (8)

United hope full-back Keith Watson shakes off some tightness in his knee but midfielder Stuart Armstrong is back from Scotland Under-21 international duty in Greece in midweek and appears to have suffered no ill-reaction. Manager Jackie McNamara has no other injury concerns.

Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson returns from a two-match ban, Andy Webster (hip) and Jason Holt (ankle) are expected to shake off minor injuries but Callum Paterson is out for three months following surgery on his foot. Jamie Hamill has returned to training but is not ready for the first team following a cruciate ligament injury, the same problem which keeps Danny Grainger on the sidelines.

Last season: Dundee Utd 2 Hearts 2, Hearts 0 Dundee Utd 2, Dundee Utd 1 Hearts 0, Hearts 0 Dundee Utd 1

Last five league matches: Dundee Utd L D W L D; Hearts L D L W D

Top scorers (all competitions): Johnny Russell (Dundee Utd) 16; John Sutton (Hearts) 5

Referee: William Collum (Scotland).

Inverness (2) v Celtic (1)

Andrew Shinnie and Richie Foran could both make the Inverness squad, with Shinnie (tight hamstring) more likely to make the game than Foran (knee). Midfielder Ross Draper returns from suspension while defenders Chris Hogg (knee) and Simon King (ankle) are working their way back from injury.

Goalkeeper Fraser Forster returns for Celtic after recovering from a neck injury. Winger James Forrest is doubtful with a hamstring problem while forward Georgios Samaras (hamstring) and left-back Emilio Izaguirre (knee) remain out. Efe Ambrose is still on African Nations Cup duty with Nigeria.

Last season: Celtic 1 Inverness 0, Inverness 0 Celtic 2, Celtic 2 Inverness 0

Last five league matches: Inverness W D D W L; Celtic L W W W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Billy McKay (Inverness) 21; Gary Hooper (Celtic) 23

Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland).

Kilmarnock (9) v Motherwell (3)

Killie forward Cillian Sheridan is out for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury, while Ross Barbour is rated doubtful with a flu bug.

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall has almost a full squad to pick from. Darren Randolph has returned to full training after limping off in the last game, against St Johnstone almost three weeks ago, while defender Steven Saunders is also back in training - although he will not feature due to a lack of match sharpness.

Last season: Kilmarnock 2 Motherwell 0, Motherwell 0 Kilmarnock 0, Kilmarnock 0 Motherwell 0

Last five league matches: Kilmarnock D D L D L; Motherwell L W D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Cillian Sheridan (Kilmarnock) 10; Michael Higdon (Motherwell) 16

Referee: Steven McLean (Scotland).

Monday, February 11

Hibernian (4) v St Johnstone (5)

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon expects Ryan McGivern to recover from the hamstring injury which forced him out of the Northern Ireland squad. Tim Clancy's chances of recovering from a similar problem are rated at 50-50, while Honduras midfielder Jorge Claros will be assessed after returning from international duty.

Steven Anderson (knee)

and Murray Davidson (ankle) could be back in contention for St Johnstone - both players played in a bounce game today and will be added to Steve Lomas' squad if there is no reaction. Chris Millar, Gary Miller, and Jamie Adams remain sidelined for the visitors.

Last season: Hibernian 2 St Johnstone 3, St Johnstone 3 Hibernian 1, Hibernian 3 St Johnstone 2

Last five league matches: Hibernian W D D D L; St Johnstone D D W L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Leigh Griffiths (Hibernian) 15; Murray Davidson (St Johnstone) 6

Referee: Kevin Clancy (Scotland).


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f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

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