Scottish Premiership briefing

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

Last Updated: 19/04/14 at 15:13 Post Comment

Manuel Pascali: Returns to action for Kilmarnock

Manuel Pascali: Returns to action for Kilmarnock

All kick-off times BST

Saturday, April 19

Motherwell v Celtic (1245)

Suspended captain Keith Lasley joins fellow central midfielders Paul Lawson (Achilles) and Stuart Carswell (knee) on the sidelines for Motherwell while James McFadden is still out with a hamstring injury but defender Shaun Hutchinson is fit again after missing the defeat by St Mirren. Lee Hollis (broken finger) and Simon Ramsden (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Celtic defender Darnell Fisher looks to be out for the rest of the season following knee surgery and is one of several Hoops players who will miss the clash at Fir Park. Defender Adam Matthews and utility player Charlie Mulgrew (both hamstring), midfielder Nir Biton and wide man James Forrest (both groin), and Derk Boerrigter (abdomen) are all out.

Last season: Motherwell 3 Celtic 1, Motherwell 2 Celtic 1 Celtic 1 Motherwell 0, Motherwell 0 Celtic 2

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

Top scorers (all competitions): John Sutton (Motherwell) 19; Kris Commons (Celtic) 28

Referee: Craig Thomson

Our verdict: Motherwell 1 Celtic 3

Hearts v Ross County (1500)

Jamie Walker could make his first appearance for Hearts since mid-January after recovering from a foot injury. The winger netted twice for Hearts Under-20s in their 2-1 win over Celtic on Tuesday and is now in line to feature against the Staggies at Tynecastle but Paul McCallum (ankle) and Callum Tapping (knee) are out.

Melvin de Leeuw is suspended for County but midfielder Stuart Kettlewell (hip/groin) and goalkeeper Michael Fraser (appendicitis) could both come back into contention. The pair played 90 minutes for the under-20s in midweek.

Last season: Hearts 4 Ross County 2, Ross County 2 Hearts 2 Hearts 2 Ross County 2

Last five league matches: Hearts L L W D W; Ross County W L D D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Jamie Hamill (Hearts) 8; Melvin De Leeuw (Ross County) 8

Referee: William Collum

Our verdict: Hearts 1 Ross County 1

Kilmarnock v Partick (1500)

Captain Manuel Pascali returns from suspension for Kilmarnock while midfielder Sammy Clingan is also back in the squad following a knee injury. Greg Kiltie (ankle) and Darren Barr (hip) remain on the sidelines.

Partick right-back Stephen O'Donnell is out for the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery. Conrad Balatoni (hand) could feature on Saturday but fellow centre-back Aaron Muirhead is not ready to return from knee surgery. Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) also remain on the sidelines.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 19; Kris Doolan (Partick) 9

Referee: Brian Colvin

Our verdict: Kilmarnock 1 Partick 0

St Johnstone v Dundee United (1500)

Chris Millar is suspended for the Saints while fellow midfielders Gary McDonald (knee) and Lee Croft (hamstring) will not be risked as they fight back from the injuries that forced them out of the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final. Tam Scobbie (ankle) and Murray Davidson (knee) are out for the season.

United have doubts over Paul Paton and Andy Robertson (tight hamstrings) with defender Calum Butcher, who has not featured in the first team since January, out for the season after breaking a toe. On-loan Newcastle defender Curtis Good's return from a hip injury was hampered by a hamstring problem earlier in the week.

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: St Johnstone L W W D W; Dundee Utd W W W D L

Top scorers (all competitions): Stevie May (St Johnstone) 25; Nadir Ciftci (Dundee Utd) 15

Referee: John Beaton

Our verdict: St Johnstone 1 Dundee United 1

St Mirren v Hibernian (1500)

Danny Lennon expects to have a full squad available after goalkeeper Marian Kello made good progress after missing several games with a groin injury. Midfield playmaker Paul McGowan has recovered from the hamstring strain that forced him off against Motherwell two weeks ago.

Hibernian have been hit with a major blow after striker Paul Heffernan was ruled out for the rest of the season with a groin injury. Ryan McGivern is suspended and long-term absentee Paul Hanlon (knee) remains out but Scott Robertson (knee) and James McPake (back) have returned to training, although both are unlikely to feature against the Buddies.

Last season: Hibernian 3 St Mirren 3, St Mirren 0 Hibernian 1 Hibernian 2 St Mirren 1, St Mirren 1 Hibernian 2

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 15; Liam Craig (Hibernian) 9

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Our verdict: St Mirren 1 Hibernian 2


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ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

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f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

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ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

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