Celtic V Partick at Celtic Park : Match Preview

31 December 2013 04:31
Celtic V Partick - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Mulgrew nears Hoops return

Neil Lennon is hoping to have Charlie Mulgrew back for Celtic's Scottish Premiership clash with Partick Thistle at Parkhead on New Year's Day.

The Scotland international has missed the last four games with a groin injury but the Hoops boss is confident he will be fit for the visit of the Jags.

Dirk Boerrigter (hamstring) has started training again after recovering from a hamstring complaint but it is too soon for the Dutchman while Mikael Lustig (hip), Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain out.

Defender Adam Matthews, back in the side after a broken collarbone, is looking to help the Hoops extend their unbeaten run in the league to 19 games, a run which he believes is growing in importance with each match.

"Yes, it is a big thing," he said.

"We want to keep it going for as long as possible. We know it is going to be tough because we know everyone is going to try to break the record but we just have to play the way we are playing and take our chances when they come and hopefully keep it going.

"Every derby is tough and Partick play good football so we know we have got to be on top of our game to keep our run going.

"But it will be good to be back at Celtic Park, the fans will be brilliant like they always are. It will be nice to play on a nice pitch and get our passing going which we couldn't do against Inverness.

"I don't feel fully fit but I am getting there, my match-sharpness is getting better so hopefully I can get a run in the team, keep my fitness going and get back to where I was before my injury."

Partick boss Alan Archibald has doubts over Jordan McMillan and Christie Elliott.

Both players are struggling with a virus but new loan signing Lyle Taylor is likely to be added to the squad.

Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) remain on the sidelines, while Gary Fraser is still suspended.

Aaron Muirhead believes a positive result against Celtic would be the ideal way to boost Thistle's ailing season.

"If you pick up anything there, it would give you a lift. We can hopefully put on a good performance," said the defender

Source: PA

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