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Match Preview

Partick Thistle v Celtic – 26th March 2014

All eyes are on Firhill this evening with Celtic having the opportunity to clinch the Premiership title with a victory. While that gives the fixture, already being shown live on TV, some extra attention whether Celtic can clinch the title tonight is of little importance to Thistle this evening. Occupying our thoughts are the prospects of getting three points and moving up a couple of places in a highly congested bottom half of the league table.
Said manager Alan Archibald when speaking to [link:HOME] this morning;
“The fact that Celtic can clinch the title tonight doesn’t make things any easier for us but we have our own agenda going into the match. It’s our game in hand over the sides above us and we know that three points would allow us to move above them. We know how difficult it will be tonight but we can take confidence from the fact that we have run Celtic very, very close in the two previous meetings this season. At Firhill we probably lost the game through our desire to try and win the match while at Parkhead we created a lot of very good chances.”
The manager does, however, have some injury problems to contend with not just for tonight for the foreseeable future as well.
“Isaac Osbourne and Sean Welsh are still on the injured list and we have problems elsewhere; especially in central defence. Conrad Balatoni fell and damaged tendons in his hands. We’re not sure how long he will be out for and we will need to see what the specialist says. We were hoping to have him back in time for the split but even that is doubtful at the moment. In addition to Conrad, Aaron Muirhead has been carrying a knee injury since as far back as the last Celtic game. We had thought he was on the way back and he was included in the squad for the game at Inverness but he kicked the ball in a certain way in training on Monday and he came in limping yesterday. We had hoped that we could delay the surgery he is going to need until the end of the season but it is going to have to be done now and we think it will be 4-6 weeks after the surgery before Aaron is back.”
Alan continued;
“There is also a bit of a bug about the place. Lee Mair phoned in ill on Monday but he was in training yesterday and he will be fine for tonight. Gabriel Piccolo has also been feeling the bug but he too will be okay for tonight’s game. Gabby performed fantastically well at Inverness and although he hadn’t been playing in the first team recently we played him as often as possible for the under 20s to keep him prepared for when he would be needed. It’s unfortunate that both Liam Lindsay and Darren Brownlie are out on loan as we could do with a little extra cover in that area of the pitch. It’s a difficult balancing act. We had to be mindful of the players’ development and when they went out on loan we had four central defenders and Jordan McMillan who can also fill in if needed. With so many injuries in that position that decision has come back to bite us a bit.”
Partick Thistle Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
2              1              2              10           8
Scorers Season 2013-2014
Kris Doolan 7
Kallum Higginbotham 6
Steven Lawless 5
Lyle Taylor 5
Aaron Muirhead 4
Conrad Balatoni 2
Christie Elliott 2
Chris Erskine 2
Ross Forbes 1
Gary Fraser 1
Lee Mair 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Aaron Taylor-Sinclair 1
Last Game
Scottish Premiership
Saturday March 22nd 2014
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 1, Partick Thistle 0
Celtic Stats
Current Form – Last Five Games
W            D             L              F              A
4              0              1              14           2
Scorers Season 2013-2014
KrisCommons 26
Anthony Stokes 13
Georgios Samaras 8
James Forrest 7
Charlie Mulgrew 6
Leigh Griffiths 5
Joe Ledley 5
Teemu Pukki 5
Virgil van Dijk 4
Amido Balde 3
Efe Ambrose 2
Scott Brown 2
Mikael Lustig 2
Bahrudin Atajic 1
Derk Boerrigter 1
Stefan Johansen 1
Beram Kayal 1
Adam Mathews 1
Own Goals 2
Last Meeting
Scottish Premiership
Wednesday January 1st 2014
Celtic 1, Partick Thistle 0
Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose, Dijk, Izaguirre, Commons (Biton), Brown, Mulgrew (Samaras), Ledley, Forrest, Pukki (Stokes).
Thistle: Fox, O’Donnell, Taylor-Sinclair, Muirhead (Wilson), Balatoni, Craigen, Bannigan, Elliott, Piccolo, Taylor (Doolan), Higginbotham (Lawless).
Celtic: Ledley (39)
Crowd: 52,670
Match Details
Scottish Premiership
Wednesday March 26th 2014
Partick Thistle v Celtic
Kick-off: 7:45pm
Admission Details
Match Officials
Referee: Steven McLean
Assistant Referees: Graham Chambers and David McGeachie
Fourth Official: John McKendrick
Other Fixture
Scottish Premiership
Dundee United v Inverness Caledonian Thistle

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