Scottish Premiership previews: Celtic facing striker shortage

Team news, stats and predictions for the latest round of the Scottish Premiership, as Hearts host Rangers on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Dundee United vs Livingston – Saturday, 3pm kick-off

Team news

There are no new injury worries for Dundee United, although Livingston may welcome back Jackson Longridge, who was not recalled to the starting line-up after serving a ban for Livi’s win over Hibs in midweek.

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and Hibernian.

Opta stats

  • Dundee United have won five of their last seven home matches against Livingston in Scotland’s top-flight (D1 L1), including a 3-0 win in their last such meeting in February of last season.
  • Livingston have only lost one of their last five top-flight league matches against Dundee United (W3 D1), although have failed to win both of their last two (D1 L1).
  • Dundee United have lost four of their last six league games (W1 D1), including both of their last two; they haven’t lost three consecutive Scottish Premiership fixtures since February of last season.
  • Since winning five of their first six away league matches under David Martindale (D1), Livingston have only enjoyed two wins in their last 15 away league outings (D5 L8).
  • Dundee United have used more different players than any other club in this season’s Scottish Premiership (28).

How to follow

Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Ross County vs Dundee – Saturday, 3pm kick-off

Team news

Ross County are set to be without Alex Iacovitti, who suffered a hamstring injury against St Mirren.

Full-back Harry Clarke returns from suspension.

Dundee midfielder Max Anderson returns after missing his team’s defeat at Ibrox last weekend.

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership game between Rangers and Dundee.

Jordan McGhee is back in the squad after knee surgery while Alex Jakubiak is close to full training after a shoulder injury.

Lee Ashcroft (hamstring) underwent surgery this week while Shaun Byrne (knee) and Cillian Sheridan (Achilles) remain on the sidelines

Opta stats

  • Ross County won 5-0 at Dundee in October, and last won back-to-back top-flight league games against Dundee in September 2014.
  • Dundee have won three of their last four Scottish Premiership away games at Ross County (L1), with this their first since a 1-0 win in May 2018. Indeed, the away side has won each of the last five top-flight matches between these two sides.
  • Ross County have earned five points from their last three league games (W1 D2), as many as they had in their previous 11 beforehand (W1 D2 L8).
  • Dundee have picked up fewer points from their away matches than any other Scottish Premiership club this season (four – W1 D1 L5), while only St. Mirren (20) have conceded more away goals in the 2021-22 competition than the Dee (15).
  • Daniel Mullen has scored in three of his last four league appearances for Dundee, although all of these goals have come at home.

How to follow

Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

St Mirren vs Hibernian – Saturday, 3pm kick-off

Team news

St Mirren will be without Eamonn Brophy with a hamstring injury, while Connor McCarthy’s ankle complaint also leaves him sidelined.

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David Gray admits he has found it ‘tough’ when trying to lift the spirits of the Hibs squad after Jack Ross’ sacking and says he is unsure how long he’ll be in caretaker charge.

Hibernian have worries of their own under caretaker manager David Gray, with Kyle Magennis missing with a groin problem, while Paul McGinn and Paul Hanlon are both absent through suspensions served after the 1-0 reverse at Livingston in midweek.

Opta stats

  • St. Mirren are without a win in 10 Scottish Premiership matches against Hibernian (D3 L7) since a 2-0 victory in April 2014 under Danny Lennon.
  • Hibernian have won each of their last five Scottish Premiership away games at St. Mirren.
  • Since winning three straight league matches from September to October, St. Mirren have gone winless in eight Scottish Premiership games (D4 L4), the longest ongoing such run by any side currently in the division.
  • Hibernian have lost seven of their nine league matches since the start of October (W1 D1). Their total of just four points in this time is fewer than any other side, half that of the next lowest sides (Ross County and St. Johnstone, both 8 points).
  • Hibernian have been given six red cards in the Scottish Premiership this season, at least two more than any other club. Against Livingston last time out, Hibs received two red cards, the second time they have done so in the league this season (also v Ross County in November). Before 2021-22, they hadn’t had two players sent off in a single top-flight league match since May 2008 v Celtic.

How to follow

Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

St Johnstone vs Aberdeen – Saturday, 3pm kick-off

Team news

Former Aberdeen midfielder Craig Bryson is suspended for St Johnstone and will be unable to face his old club.

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership game between Aberdeen and St Mirren.

Andrew Considine’s return is nearing for Aberdeen but his return from an ACL injury will have to wait despite returning to light training this week.

Opta stats

  • St. Johnstone are looking to win back-to-back league clashes with Aberdeen for the first time since October 2015.
  • Aberdeen are unbeaten in nine league visits to St. Johnstone (W5 D4) since a 3-0 defeat in April 2016.
  • St. Johnstone have won only once in their last 11 home league matches (D5 L5), beating newly promoted Dundee 3-1 in October.
  • Aberdeen have won both of their last two league games, as many wins as they had earned across their previous 13 league fixtures before this (W2 D3 L8). The Dons last enjoyed a longer league winning run in September 2020 – a run of four straight victories which included a 1-0 win away at St. Johnstone.
  • St. Johnstone have scored just nine league goals this season, fewer than any Scottish Premiership club. Indeed, opponents Aberdeen have scored more goals in both the first half (11) and second half (11) of their league matches than St. Johnstone have overall (nine).

How to follow

Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Hearts vs Rangers – Sunday, 12pm kick-off, live on Sky Sports Football

Team news

Hearts duo Liam Boyce and Michael Smith have recovered from knocks ahead of the visit of Rangers in the cinch Premiership on Sunday.

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson believes if his players are at the top of their game on Sunday they have ‘a real chance of beating Rangers. You can watch the match live on Sky Sports, kick off midday.

Midfielder Beni Baningime remains out with a knee injury.

However, boss Robbie Neilson hopes to have him back before the Edinburgh derby against Hibernian in the new year.

Rangers‘ Ryan Jack has been ruled out of the trip to Gorgie.

The Gers midfielder, who recently returned from a long-term calf problem, sustained another injury in training which is still to be diagnosed.

Striker Kemar Roofe is a doubt and will be assessed, while Leon Balogun (knock), Filip Helander (knee) and Nnamdi Ofoborh (heart issue) are still sidelined.

Opta stats

  • This will be Hearts’ first home league match against Rangers since a 2-1 win in January 2020 under Daniel Stendel.
  • Rangers have only lost one of their last 13 Scottish Premiership games against Hearts, winning nine and drawing three.
  • Hearts remain unbeaten at home in this season’s Scottish Premiership (P8 W5 D3), with only Celtic (20) earning more points on home soil in this season’s competition than the Jam Tarts (18).
  • Rangers have won each of their last five league games, including all three under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. Indeed, away from home, the Gers have won their last seven in the Scottish Premiership since losing their first league match on the road this season 1-0 at Dundee United.
  • Rangers have recovered a league-high 16 points from losing positions in this season’s Scottish Premiership, winning five of the seven such matches in which they have fallen behind (D1 L1).

How to follow

Watch Hearts vs Rangers live on Sky Sports Football from Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Celtic vs Motherwell – Sunday, 3pm kick-off

Team news

Celtic face a striker shortage after Kyogo Furuhashi and Albian Ajeti suffered hamstring injuries against Real Betis on Thursday.

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Celtic.

Giorgos Giakoumakis faces another week or two on the sidelines following minor knee surgery. Jota is also out with a hamstring problem and fellow winger James Forrest also missed the Betis game.

Anthony Ralston has missed two games with a strain while long-term absentees Christopher Jullien (knee) and Karamoko Dembele (ankle) remain out.

Motherwell have their own problems, with manager Graham Alexander admitting they would be a “little bit bare” for Sunday’s clash after picking up some fitness issues at Easter Road last weekend.

Alexander has issues in central defence, with Ricki Lamie going off against Hibernian and Sondre Solholm Johansen and Juhani Ojala already out. Mark O’Hara has been missing from Motherwell’s midfield but Barry Maguire returns from suspension.

Opta stats

  • Celtic have won each of their last nine league matches against Motherwell, scoring two or more goals each time since a 1-1 draw in December 2018.
  • Motherwell have lost each of their last nine league visits to Celtic since a 2-1 win in December 2015 under Mark McGhee. They have conceded 30 goals and scored just three in this spell.
  • Celtic have won eight of their last nine league games (D1), including each of their last four in a row. As well as this, the Hoops have picked up more home points in this season’s Scottish Premiership than any other side (20).
  • Motherwell have lost just one of their last five league games (W3 D1), this after having lost four of their previous five before this (D1).
  • Scottish Premiership top scorer Tony Watt’s nine league goals this season have earned Motherwell 11 points, the most of any player for their club in their season’s competition. Watt scored seven goals in 25 league appearances for Celtic, but has never scored against his former side in seven league matches against them.

How to follow

Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.