Celtic V St Mirren at Celtic Park : Match Preview

14 December 2012 06:01
Celtic V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Lennon optimistic over Matthews fitness

Celtic boss Neil Lennon expects defender Adam Matthews to overcome a groin problem in time for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Mirren at Parkhead.

The Wales international picked up the niggle during Wednesday night's 1-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round replay win over Arbroath at Gayfield Park in which he scored the winner, but the Hoops boss is confident he "should be okay".

Midfielder Kris Commons remains out with a thigh injury, while winger James Forrest will resume training on Monday as he continues his recovery from a hamstring complaint.

Lennon is trying to get his players to re-focus on domestic chores with Celtic, despite being three points clear at the top of the SPL, looking for their first home league win since October 7.

Looking ahead to the match with St Mirren, Lustig said: "Of course you think a lot about Champions League games so now it is nice to focus on the SPL.

"We have struggled a little bit, especially at home. It is hard to say why but we have some problems when teams come here just to defend.

"We have to find the key to break them down but hopefully we can do that."

St Mirren will be without the suspended Lee Mair.

Mair has picked up six yellow cards so far this season and as a result will serve a one-match ban.

Danny Lennon has been delighted to see Paul McGowan make a return to training, however this weekend's fixture comes too soon for the former Celtic striker and he is joined on the sidelines by long-term absentee Darren McGregor.

David van Zanten admits St Mirren will need a bit of luck if they are to end their losing streak against Celtic.

Since taking over at St Mirren Park in 2010, Danny Lennon has failed to manage a point or even a goal against the Clydesdale Bank Premier League champions.

Earlier in the season Celtic strolled to a 5-0 away victory against the Paisley outfit and van Zanten insists the pressure is on to avoid a similar result when the two sides meet on Saturday.

"The pressure is always on no matter who the opposition are, you are always under that pressure to win the game," said the 30-year-old defender, who began his career as a youth player at Celtic Park.

"These are the games you look forward to, playing in front of big crowds and against the best players you possibly can play against.

"We know we will need a bit of luck and to be at our best - hopefully that will be enough to get the three points.

"Our aim is to go there and try win the game, albeit by stopping Celtic first and foremost and then try to impose ourselves on the game."

Source: PA