Scottish Premiership briefing

  • Last Updated: March 21 2014, 17:32 GMT

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

Motherwell host Ross County in the Premiership
Motherwell host Ross County in the Premiership

Saturday, March 22

Aberdeen v Kilmarnock

Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett are out of the Aberdeen squad. Hayes will be out for six weeks with a collarbone injury picked up early in last week's Scottish League Cup final win against Inverness at Parkhead. Pawlett missed the cup final with a hip injury, but manager Derek McInnes expects him to be back much sooner than his Irish team-mate. Defender Clark Robertson returns to the squad after recovering from a knee injury.

On-loan Celtic player Jackson Irvine returns for Kilmarnock after sitting out last Friday's clash with his parent club. However, defender Darren Barr (hip) and midfielder Sammy Clingan (knee) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: Aberdeen 1 Kilmarnock 0, Kilmarnock 1 Aberdeen 1, Aberdeen 0 Kilmarnock 2, Kilmarnock 1 Aberdeen 3

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Adam Rooney (Aberdeen) 14; Kris Boyd (Kilmarnock) 18

Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)

Our verdict: Aberdeen 1 Kilmarnock 0

Celtic v St Mirren

Virgil van Dijk returns from suspension for Celtic. Midfielder Nir Biton and wide-man James Forrest remain on the sidelines with groin injuries, while Derk Boerrigter has had a scan on his abdomen following a strain and will also miss out. Emilio Izaguirre and Georgios Samaras have been under the weather the past couple of days and will be assessed.

Former Manchester United midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba has shaken off a groin strain to rejoin the St Mirren squad. The Cameroonian missed last week's 3-2 defeat to Dundee United at Tannadice and will be joined in Danny Lennon's group by skipper Jim Goodwin, back from a ban. However, David van Zanten is still out after a hernia.

Last season: St Mirren 1 Celtic 1, Celtic 2 St Mirren 0, St Mirren 0 Celtic 5

Last five league matches: Celtic W W L W W; St Mirren L L L W L

Top scorers (all competitions): Kris Commons (Celtic) 26; Steven Thompson (St Mirren) 13

Referee: Stephen Finnie (Scotland)

Our verdict: Celtic 3 St Mirren 0

Inverness v Partick

Aaron Doran is a doubt for the hosts. The Caley wide man was taken off in the 2-0 defeat by Motherwell in midweek with a hamstring injury and will be assessed.

Partick have received a double selection boost, with Stuart Bannigan and Aaron Muirhead back in the frame. Bannigan is available again after serving a one-match suspension and could go straight back into the squad, while Muirhead has recovered from injury.

Last season: No corresponding fixture

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Billy McKay (Inverness) 20; Kris Doolan & Lyle Taylor (Partick) 7

Referee: Kevin Clancy (Scotland)

Our verdict: Inverness 1 Partick 2

Motherwell v Ross County

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall has welcomed back Estonian striker Henri Anier. The former Viking Stavanger frontman has not featured for McCall's side since last February. Goalkeeper Lee Hollis (broken finger), right-backs Fraser Kerr (ankle) and Simon Ramsden (knee), midfielder Paul Lawson (knee) and young striker Lee Erwin (knee) are all still out.

Ross County boss Derek Adams will have to do without five players. Alex Cooper is suspended, while Marc Klok, Stuart Kettlewell, Darren Maatsen and goalkeeper Michael Fraser are all injured. Winger Graham Carey is back from suspension, however.

Last season: Motherwell 2 Ross County 0, Ross County 3 Motherwell 0, Motherwell 3 Ross County 2, Ross County 0 Motherwell 0

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

Top scorers (all competitions): John Sutton (Motherwell) 17; Yoann Arquin (Ross County) 7

Referee: Iain Brines (Scotland)

Our verdict: Motherwell 2 Ross County 1

St Johnstone v Hibernian

Frazer Wright returns to the St Johnstone fold following an ankle knock. Left-backs Tam Scobbie (ankle) and Brian Easton (hamstring) are still out, along with midfielder Murray Davidson who remains on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Hibernian boss Terry Butcher has no fresh injury worries, but will carry out his promise to make changes following last week's defeat at Partick Thistle. Midfielders Scott Robertson (knee) and Owain Tudur Jones (hamstring) remain out, along with defender James McPake.

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

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

Top scorers (all competitions): Stevie May (St Johnstone) 22; Liam Craig (Hibernian) 9

Referee: Steven McLean (Scotland)

Our verdict: St Johnstone 1 Hibernian 0


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