St Johnstone V Celtic at McDiarmid Park : Match Preview

18 February 2013 07:01
St Johnstone V Celtic - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Lomas plays down Celtic record

St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas played down his side's good Clydesdale Bank Premier League record against Celtic this season as he awaits a visit from the champions.

The Saints beat Neil Lennon's men 2-1 at McDiarmid Park in September and while they lost 5-0 when the two sides met in the Scottish Communities League Cup quarter-final at Parkhead the following month, Lomas men grabbed a 1-1 draw in the SPL when they returned to the east end of Glasgow in November.

However, the Northern Irishman will not reflect too long on the four points won against the Hoops, who are fresh from a 6-2 hammering of Dundee United at the weekend.

Lomas said: "We are not looking at it like that, we are looking at playing a very good Celtic team.

"They have players like Gary Hooper, Kris Commons, Joe Ledley, Victor Wanyama, Anthony Stokes - the list is endless.

"We will go into the game massive underdogs and it will take another mammoth effort from everyone if we are to get anything.

"When you play the Old Firm you have got to be at your maximum.

"You have to be disciplined, be brave in and out of possession, have a little bit of luck and take your chances when they come along.

"If Celtic get their noses in front then it is very difficult. They bounced back from the Juventus defeat to thrash Dundee United and they can do that against anybody on their day.

"But we are one of eight or nine teams who want to be up there behind them and we are looking forward to the game."

St Johnstone could be without Dave Mackay, Chris Millar and Murray Davidson.

Skipper Mackay is still struggling with a calf injury and midfielder Millar has a groin problem.

Midfielder Davidson picked up an ankle knock in Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Ross County in Dingwall, while Gary Miller (ankle), and Jamie Adams (back) remain sidelined.

Skipper Scott Brown and defender Mikael Lustig will be missing again for Celtic.

Brown will see a specialist about his abductor problem while Lustig is out with a thigh injury.

Greece striker Georgios Samaras is back in training after recovering from a hamstring injury but he is not yet ready.

Lennon revealed Brown will see a specialist to ascertain whether or not he is to go under the knife.

The midfielder sat out the Dundee United game at the weekend with an abductor problem and will miss the trip to Perth.

Brown, however, has been bothered by an ongoing hip problem this season which was thought at one time to require surgery, but both problems are to be addressed.

Hoops manager Lennon said: "Scott will be seeing a specialist regarding his abductor and we will wait on the outcome of that.

"We will have a look at what he had before and he might require surgery, we are not sure yet, we will see what the specialist says but hopefully that won't be the case."

Celtic are 18 points clear of Motherwell at the top of the table but Lennon insists complacency won't be a problem.

He said: "We want to keep the run going.

"There has been no signs of complacency, we have our targets to reach and some players might have targets so we are pretty focused."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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