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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Match Previews Week 2

Celtic v Kilmarnock

Celtic defender Daniel Majstorovic is out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone but fellow defenders Emilio Izaguirre and Kelvin Wilson are close to a comeback after coming through a midweek bounce game against Morton. Killie have offered right-back Alex Pursehouse a new deal but loan striker Dean Shiels is likely to be ruled out with an ankle injury. James Fowler returns for Kilmarnock after missing last weekend’s draw against Dundee United through suspension. Kilmarnock have won at Celtic Park just once in 75 years – that came in December 1955 – but they drew on their last visit there a year ago this week.

Dundee United v Hibernian

post8aHibs are searching for new manager Pat Fenlon’s first win but they have won on only one of their last ten visits to Tannadice. Loan striker Leigh Griffiths returns for Hibs after missing last week’s defeat at Aberdeen through suspension. The Easter Road club are on the trail of Sligo Rovers striker Eoin Doyle. United have won three, drawn three and lost three of their last nine games.

Dunfermline Athletic v St Johnstone

Dunfermline are aiming to improve a record that has seen them take one point from their last five games but the omens are against them – there hasn’t been a home winner in the last ten meetings of these clubs. The home side have a sweat over goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, who dislocated his shoulder against Hearts last weekend, while Saints striking duo Francisco Sandaza and Cillian Sheridan are still doubtful for Steve Lomas.

Hearts v Motherwell

Motherwell will be without midfielder Steve Jennings unless the club appeal the two-game ban imposed by the SFA after his clash with St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin. Hearts haven’t beaten Motherwell in any of the Lanarkshire side’s last four visits to Tynecastle – and Stuart McCall’s on-form side have won their last five away games. Hearts’ midfielder Eggert Jonsson has this week agreed a switch to Wolves.

Inverness C. T. v Aberdeen

Caley Thistle have won only two of their last nine games but can take heart from their battling performance at Ibrox last weekend. Terry Butcher has loan midfielder David Davis available again following his suspension. Aberdeen’s Fraser Fyvie and Andy Considine both return after suspension but Peter Pawlett will be banned if the club accept his two-match ban for simulation last weekend. This is the 21st SPL meeting of the sides and Caley Thistle have only won three of them.

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St Mirren v Rangers

Home skipper Jim Goodwin starts a three-game suspension after being caught punching Motherwell’s Steve Jennings by the SFA but Saints have been boosted by Lee Mair’s return from a hamstring injury. Sone Aluko returns for Rangers after suspension, while Romanian defender Dorin Goian could also be back after illness. Saints haven’t beaten Rangers at home since Stephen McGinn’s winner in October 2008 and haven’t won any of the last thirteen meetings of the sides – although Steven Thompson’s late goal did earn them a point at Ibrox in October. Rangers have taken 19 points out of 24 since then.