Scottish Premiership briefing

  • Last Updated: December 27 2013, 18:10 GMT

Team news, statistics and our verdict for Sunday's action in the Scottish Premiership.

St Mirren take on Hearts on Sunday
St Mirren take on Hearts on Sunday

Sunday, December 29

Inverness (3) v Celtic (1)

Inverness captain Richie Foran again sits out as he is still waiting to see the extent of his shoulder injury but could be out for two months. Midfielder James Vincent remains out as he continues his rehabilitation following a leg fracture.

Neil Lennon has no fresh injury worries but Charlie Mulgrew is a doubt with a groin injury which has kept him out of the last three games. Dirk Boerrigter (hamstring), Mikael Lustig (hip), Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain out.

Last season: Celtic 4 Inverness CT 1, Inverness CT 1 Celtic 3 Celtic 0 Inverness CT 1, Inverness CT 2 Celtic 4

Last five league matches: Inverness CT W D W L D; Celtic W W W W W

Top scorers: Billy McKay (Inverness CT) 17; Kris Commons (Celtic) 14

Referee: Crawford Allan (Scotland)

Our verdict: Inverness 0 Celtic 1

St Johnstone (6) v Dundee United (4)

St Johnstone skipper Dave Mackay is a doubt after picking up a calf knock in the 1-0 home defeat to Celtic on Thursday and will be assessed. Striker Rory Fallon returns to the squad following a two-game suspension.

Dundee United will be without defender Keith Watson after he was sent off against St Mirren on Boxing Day. They also have doubts over winger Gary Mackay-Steven after he injured his shin in a collision with Saints defender Marc McAusland.

Last season: Dundee Utd 0 St Johnstone 1, St Johnstone 1 Dundee Utd 1 Dundee Utd 1 St Johnstone 1, St Johnstone 0 Dundee Utd 0

Last five league matches: St Johnstone W L L D L; Dundee Utd W W W W L

Top scorers: Stevie May (St Johnstone) 12; Nadir Ciftci (Dundee Utd) 8

Referee: Stephen Finnie (Scotland)

Our verdict: St Johnstone 1 Dundee United 2

Aberdeen (5) v Ross County (11)

Mark Reynolds returns to the Aberdeen squad after missing Thursday's 1-0 home defeat to Motherwell with a bad facial cut picked up in the previous game against Inverness. Manager Derek McInnes has no fresh injury worries for the visit of the Staggies.

County manager Derek Adams hopes to have a full squad and Steven Saunders is pushing for a recall following a hamstring problem. Dutch pair Kevin Luckassen and Melvin de Leeuw both came off during the Boxing Day defeat by Hibernian.

Last season: Aberdeen 0 Ross County 1, Ross County 2 Aberdeen 1 Aberdeen 0 Ross County 0

Last five league matches: Aberdeen L W W W L; Ross County D L L L L

Top scorers: Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) 9; Melvin De Leeuw & Richard Brittain (Ross County) 4

Referee: Calum Murray (Scotland)

Our verdict: Aberdeen 1 Ross County 0

Hibernian (7) v Kilmarnock (9)

Midfielder Kevin Thomson should be back in contention for Hibs after missing the Boxing Day win over Ross County with a slight calf strain. However, the match is likely to come too soon for Paul Heffernan (thigh) and Alex Harris (ankle).

Killie manager Allan Johnston is set to name an unchanged squad after winning two matches in a row without several experienced players. Midfielders James Fowler (knee), Reuben Gabriel (ankle) and David Silva (knock) have been missing along with defender Ismael Bouzid (knee).

Last season: Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 3, Hibernian 2 Kilmarnock 2 Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 1, Hibernian 2 Kilmarnock 1

Last five league matches: Hibernian D D L D W; Kilmarnock L W L W W

Top scorers: Liam Craig (Hibernian) 6; Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 11

Referee: William Collum (Scotland)

Our verdict: Hibernian 0 Kilmarnock 1

Partick (10) v Mothwell (2)

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald is set to name an unchanged squad with Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) still on the sidelines. Fellow midfielder Gary Fraser still has two matches of his lengthy suspension to serve.

Motherwell centre-back Shaun Hutchinson is suspended but fellow central defender Stephen McManus is expected to return from the ankle problem that kept him out of the Boxing Day win at Aberdeen. Goalkeeper Lee Hollis (ankle) and striker Lee Erwin (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Partick L L D L D; Motherwell W L W W W

Top scorers: Kris Doolan (Partick) 7; John Sutton (Motherwell) 8

Referee: Steven McLean (Scotland)

Our verdict: Partick 0 Motherwell 1

St Mirren (8) v Hearts (12)

St Mirren will have to do without new loan signing Adam Campbell as his registration will not go through until the January transfer window opens on Wednesday. Meanwhile, boss Danny Lennon has concerns over Kenny McLean (knee) and Sean Kelly (shin) while winger Gary Teale (hernia) and defender David Barron (ankle) are definitely out.

Hearts manager Gary Locke could only name six substitutes for the Boxing Day defeat by Kilmarnock with Gary Oliver (ankle), Ryan Stevenson (hamstring), Mark Ridgers (knee) and Jason Holt (foot) all still out. Danny Wilson has been playing through a shin splints problem and will need to play through the pain barrier again.

Last season: Hearts 3 St Mirren 0, St Mirren 2 Hearts 0 Hearts 1 St Mirren 0, St Mirren 2 Hearts 0

Last five league matches: St Mirren D D L L W; Hearts D L L L L

Top scorers: Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 9; Callum Paterson & Ryan Stevenson (Hearts)

Referee: Kevin Clancy (Scotland)

Our verdict: St Mirren 2 Hearts 0

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