Partick V Celtic at Firhill Stadium : Match Preview

25 March 2014 05:31
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Piccolo out to crash Celtic's party

Partick defender Gabriel Piccolo could not care less about Celtic's possible Scottish Premiership title-winning party at Firhill on Wednesday night.

If second-placed Aberdeen drop points at Ross County on Tuesday night, Neil Lennon's side can clinch their third successive championship in Maryhill the following evening.

The 24-year-old Piccolo, who started his career at Club America in his native Mexico before moving to Spain to play for Denia and Rayo Vallecano B, is focused only on getting the ninth-placed Maryhill men away from the relegation play-off spot.

"I don't care about Celtic," he said.

"I am doing things for my team. I am working on being in a better position with Partick, and I don't really care about what happens with Celtic.

"We have been performing well, so we deserve to be higher in the league but we are still near the bottom.

"But we are confident that things will go our way."

Piccolo knows that Celtic are expected to win, regardless of the ramifications of the result.

However, that assumption does not faze the Jags defender whose experience since arriving at Firhill last summer has led him to believe he is a match for the best strikers in the league, a theory which will be put to the test against Anthony Stokes, Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons.

"There is not a player training who is thinking he is going to get beat on Wednesday," he said.

"We are professionals. I am training to beat them and I don't care about what others think.

"In the last game against them at Parkhead, we deserved more, we had the best chances but we lost 1-0 so we are looking forward to Wednesday and doing a bit better this time and hopefully getting something.

"It is very good to play against those kinds of players (Commons, Griffiths, Stokes) to see where you are standing.

"You have to be switched on and be ready for different kinds of skills.

"But I am confident of my standard. You are always trying to get better but I am confident of stopping the best strikers in this league."

Thistle boss Alan Archibald is hoping defender Lee Mair recovers from illness.

Defender Conrad Balatoni will miss out a with a damaged tendon in his hand.

Long-term absentees Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Celtic boss Lennon expects Thistle to be desperate to stop the possible title party.

The former Hoops skipper, who will watch the Manchester derby on Tuesday night while keeping his ears open for news from Dingwall, said: "They have their own self-pride and pride in their club.

"They have an agenda, to avoid second-bottom place.

"They are fighting for their lives so it is not a foregone conclusion that the title will be wrapped up this week."

Lennon has no fresh injury worries.

Midfielder Nir Biton and winger James Forrest remain on the sidelines with groin injuries.

Derk Boerrigter, another wide-man, is also still out with an abdomen problem.

Source: PA

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