Scottish Premiership briefing

  • Last Updated: February 28 2014, 17:36 GMT

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

Stefan Johansen: Returns to Celtic's squad
Stefan Johansen: Returns to Celtic's squad

Saturday, March 1

Aberdeen v St Johnstone

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has an unchanged squad, with Russell Anderson set to come back into the team after being rested from the start for the midweek victory over Celtic. Clark Robertson (knee) and Ryan Jack (hip) remain on the sidelines but the latter will be back "sooner rather than later". Young midfielder Craig Murray (groin) is struggling while Craig Storie remains out.

St Johnstone have an unchanged squad for the trip to Pittodrie. Steven MacLean is expected to feature but might not start after marking his first appearance in four months with a double against Motherwell. Defenders Frazer Wright and Tam Scobbie are out with ankle injuries with the latter joining midfielder Murray Davidson (knee) on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

Last season: St Johnstone 3 Aberdeen 1, Aberdeen 2 St Johnstone 0, St Johnstone 1 Aberdeen 2

Last five league matches: Aberdeen L D W L W; St Johnstone D W L L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) 9; Stevie May (St Johnstone) 21

Referee: William Collum

Our verdict: Aberdeen 2 St Johnstone 0

Celtic v Inverness

Celtic have appealed against defender Virgil van Dijk's red card at Aberdeen in midweek, leaving him free to play. Stefan Johansen is back in the squad after recovering from an ankle knock while long-term absentees Mikael Lustig (hip), Beram Kayal (foot) and Steven Mouyokolo (Achilles) remain unavailable.

Inverness manager John Hughes has a fully-fit squad to choose from for the trip to Glasgow.

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

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Kris Commons (Celtic) 22; Billy McKay (Inverness) 20

Referee: Brian Colvin

Our verdict: Celtic 2 Inverness 1

Motherwell v Hearts

Motherwell have added Steven Hammell and Henri Anier to their injury list. Hammell suffered a hamstring strain against St Johnstone on Tuesday and Anier has been diagnosed with bone bruising in his shin and instructed to rest completely. Fraser Kerr (ankle) suffered a setback during the week and will sit out again along with Simon Ramsden (knee), Craig Moore (cracked rib) and Paul Lawson (knee).

Hearts midfielder Jason Holt is a doubt after having a minor reaction to his recovery from a broken foot against Celtic last weekend. The visitors will also be without Callum Tapping. The midfielder scored in Hearts under-20s' 1-1 draw with Rangers on Wednesday but this weekend's game is likely to come too soon for his first-team return from a knee problem. David Smith (knee) and Jamie Walker (foot) remain long-term absentees but Paul McCallum has brushed off a foot knock.

Last season: Hearts 1 Motherwell 2, Motherwell 0 Hearts 0, Hearts 1 Motherwell 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): John Sutton (Motherwell) 13; Jamie Hamill (Hearts) 7

Referee: John Beaton

Our verdict: Motherwell 1 Hearts 0

Ross County v Partick

Ross County forward Melvin De Leeuw has moved closer to full fitness. The Dutchman has been used sparingly since returning to the squad following a knee injury but could start against the Jags. Manager Derek Adams has no other injury worries.

Partick defender Aaron Muirhead could bolster Alan Archibald's squad. He missed out against Aberdeen last week after struggling with a knock. Long-term absentees Isaac Osbourne (ankle) and Sean Welsh (groin) remain out.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers: Richard Brittain & Melvin de Leeuw

(Ross County) 5; Kris Doolan (Partick) 7

Referee: Craig Thomson

Our verdict: Ross County 1 Partick 1

St Mirren v Kilmarnock

St Mirren skipper Jim Goodwin begins a two-match suspension, while defender David van Zanten is out as he prepares for a hernia operation. Winger Gary Teale is still receiving treatment for an ongoing bone problem and will also miss out.

Kilmarnock are close to having a full squad of players available, with full-back Sean Clohessy pushing for involvement after an ankle injury. Long-term absentee Darren Barr (hip) is the only player missing.

Last season: Kilmarnock 1 St Mirren 3, Kilmarnock 1 St Mirren 1, St Mirren 1 Kilmarnock 1, Kilmarnock 3 St Mirren 1

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 12; Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 16

Referee: Crawford Allan

Our verdict: St Mirren 2 Kilmarnock 2


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