Scottish Premiership briefing

Team news, statistics and our verdict for this weekend's action in the Scottish Premiership.

Last Updated: 23/08/13 at 18:51 Post Comment

Georgios Samaras: Could miss out for Celtic

Georgios Samaras: Could miss out for Celtic

(Current league positions in brackets)

Saturday, August 24

Celtic v Inverness

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is facing an injury crisis among his forwards with Georgios Samaras (toe), James Forrest (sciatica), Derk Boerrigter (ankle), Anthony Stokes (calf) and Kris Commons (groin) are all very doubtful.

Lennon has revealed that Forrest is to see a neurologist in a bid to resolve his long-standing injury problem.

The leaders have a full squad for their trip to face the champions. Defender Gary Warren has a hand injury but it will not prevent him taking to the field as Caley Thistle look to extend their 100 per cent record.

Last season: Celtic 4 Inverness 1, Inverness 1 Celtic 3, Celtic 0 Inverness 1, Inverness 2 Celtic 4

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Kris Commons, James Forrest, Georgios Samaras & Anthony Stokes (Celtic) 2; Billy McKay (Inverness) 3

Referee: Craig Thomson

Our verdict: 3-1

Dundee United v St Johnstone

United defender Gavin Gunning is suspended. The centre-back begins a two-match ban following his red card against Hibernian but new signing Mark Wilson could feature.

Gary McDonald returns to the St Johnstone squad after recovering from a head knock with Murray Davidson and Frazer Wright having also shaken off knocks to declare themselves fit. Goalkeeper Alan Mannus (shoulder) remains out while midfielder David Robertson has started training with the under-20s after recovering from his broken leg.

Last season: Dundee Utd 0 St Johnstone 1, St Johnstone 1 Dundee Utd 1, Dundee Utd 1 St Johnstone 1, St Johnstone 0 Dundee Utd 0

Last five league matches: Dundee Utd W L D L D; St Johnstone L W W D W

Top scorers (all competitions): Stuart Armstrong (Dundee Utd) 1; Stevie May (St Johnstone) 3

Referee: Bobby Madden (Scotland)

Our verdict: 2-1

Hearts v Aberdeen

Hearts boss Gary Locke has a fresh injury concern after teenage striker Dale Carrick injured his ankle in an under-20s match this week. The Jambos boss is already without experienced midfielder Ryan Stevenson after the former Ipswich man was ruled out for up to seven weeks with a knee injury.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is suspended after being sent off against Celtic so Nicky Weaver will deputise. Barry Robson and Chris Clark remain out with knee injuries but Andrew Considine is edging closer to a return from a broken leg.

Last season: Aberdeen 1 Hearts 1, Aberdeen 2 Hearts 0, Hearts 2 Aberdeen 0, Aberdeen 0 Hearts 0

Last five league matches: Hearts L D L W D; Aberdeen D D W W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Callum Paterson & Jamie Walker (Hearts) 1; Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) 2

Referee: Alan Muir

Our verdict: 1-0

Kilmarnock v Hibernian

Kris Boyd is suspended for Kilmarnock as he begins a two-match ban after being sent off for punching St Mirren captain Jim Goodwin on the arm last weekend. Barry Nicholson and Mark Stewart are set for their home debuts after signing in the build-up to the St Mirren Park draw.

Kevin Thomson's failed appeal against his red card for an angry fracas with Dundee United's Gavin Gunning last weekend means he will miss the trip to Rugby Park. Skipper James McPake (back) is still not ready to play while Alex Harris and Paul Cairney (both ankle) are ruled out for the long term. Knocks to Liam Craig and Scott Robertson mean both midfielders are doubts.

Last season: Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 3, Hibernian 2 Kilmarnock 2, Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 1, Hibernian 2 Kilmarnock 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 2; Scott Robertson (Hibernian) 1

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Our verdict: 1-1

Motherwell v Partick

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall has a full squad to choose from with defender Adam Cummins, who missed last week's 3-1 defeat to Inverness with a back problem, expected to be fit. His fellow centre-back Euan Murray has recovered from a hamstring injury and will take his place in the squad.

Full-back Jordan McMillan remains on the sidelines for Partick as he is still struggling with the ankle knock which has kept him out so far this season, while midfielder Sean Welsh will also miss out with a dead leg.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Henri Anier (Motherwell) 2; Steven Lawless (Partick) 2

Referee: Euan Norris (Scotland)

Our verdict: 1-0

Ross County v St Mirren

Ross County have a couple of unnamed injury concerns ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash with St Mirren. Manager Derek Adams revealed he would assess the players before the visit of the Paisley side.

Jon Robertson remains on the sidelines for St Mirren after suffering a thigh strain during the warm-up for last week's draw against Kilmarnock. Saints boss Danny Lennon has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit to the Highlands, while David van Zanten returns from suspension.

Last season: St Mirren 1 Ross County 4, Ross County 0 St Mirren 0, St Mirren 5 Ross County 4

Last five league matches: Ross County L W L L L; St Mirren L D W L D

Top scorers (all competitions): Graham Carey & Darren Maatsen (Ross County) 1; Gary Harkins (St Mirren) 1

Referee: Calum Murray

Our verdict: 1-1


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