Scottish Premiership team news, stats & selectors


The busy festive football period comes to an end on Sunday, with an Old Firm derby topping the bill of vital Scottish Premiership matches to savour before the winter break.

In a table-topping encounter, leaders Celtic host Rangers in the third Glasgow showdown of the season with five points separating the teams.

Neil Lennon's side will stretch their advantage to eight with victory, while a win for Steven Gerrard's men would move just two behind with a game in hand.

Elsewhere, there's a Lanarkshire derby at Fir Park, Hearts are seeking a first win under Daniel Stendel, Kilmarnock aim to end a dismal run without a goal, while St Johnstone bid to pull away from the stragglers and Hibernian look to build on their derby triumph.

Here you can catch up with the team news and statistics for all six of the fixtures and choose your team's preferred XI.

Celtic v Rangers (12:30)

Wide-man Jonny Hayes returns to the Celtic squad after recovering from a shoulder injury. Lennon has no fresh injury worries with Mohamed Elyounoussi, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Jozo Simunovic and Daniel Arzani all still out.

Centre-half Filip Helander is still sidelined for Rangers, but otherwise Gerrard has no other concerns. Midfielder Steven Davis made his return from a foot injury against Kilmarnock as a late substitute, while Jordan Jones was back on the bench after recovering from the knee injury sustained against Celtic back in September.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "Whatever the context is in all these games, you want to win for bragging rights or for the supporters more than anything else. For this one, there's a big three points at stake and we really want to win it. We are confident but quietly confident."

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard: "It's a huge fixture and it's very difficult to play it down. We're aware of Celtic's home record and their consistency from the start of the season until now, but we can't be going into this game in better shape because of where we are right now."

Did you know? Rangers have won two of the last four Old Firm derbies in the Scottish Premiership - as many as they had in 16 league meetings with Celtic beforehand, but Celtic are unbeaten in their last nine home league games against Rangers, winning each of their last three in a row.

Pick your Celtic XI

Pick your Rangers XI

Heart of Midlothian v Aberdeen (14:00)

Hearts manager Stendel says Glenn Whelan will not return to the Hearts squad, with the midfielder's future at Tynecastle in doubt. Steven Naismith, Jamie Walker, Jamie Brandon, Callumn Morrison, Peter Haring, John Souttar, Ben Garuccio and Conor Washington remain out.

Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove serves the second of a two-game ban. Defender Andrew Considine has a hip injury and will be assessed, while Craig Bryson, Greg Leigh, Ethan Ross and Scott Wright remain sidelined.

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel: "We have improved so many things in the last four weeks and this is not easy after losing games to say 'trust me, this is the right way'. We can do better in the right moments defending and when we invested so much and risked so much that we take our chances to score."

Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty: "There will be absolutely no complacency from us against Hearts. You take every game on its merits. We will go down there with a game plan with a view to win all three points."

Did you know? Hearts have lost each of their last five league games - they haven't lost six in succession in the Premiership since January 2008.

Pick your Heart of Midlothian XI

Pick your Aberdeen XI

St Mirren v Kilmarnock (15:00)

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin has no fresh injury concerns, but central defenders Gary MacKenzie and Kirk Broadfoot remain out along with midfielder Kyle McAllister.

Stephen O'Donnell is a doubt for Kilmarnock with a calf injury that ruled the Scotland right-back out in midweek, while Stuart Findlay and Innes Cameron are long-term absentees.

St Mirren midfielder Cammy MacPherson: "I would say we are probably a better team than last year because we are competing every week. We gave as good as we got in the second half [of the 2-1 loss to Celtic] and, when you are doing that against Celtic, you can take confidence."

Kilmarnock interim manager Alex Dyer: "The lack of goals is a worry, but I'm not too fussed as there are players in the team who can score goals. If we create enough chances, we'll score. It's getting close with the teams behind us, so we need to get a result on Sunday."

Did you know? Kilmarnock have lost their last four league matches without scoring a single goal - they last lost five in a row within a single Premiership season back in May 2015 under Gary Locke, in a run that lasted seven games.

Pick your St Mirren XI

Pick your Kilmarnock XI

Livingston v Hibernian (15:00)

Livingston will be without suspended midfielder Scott Robinson, while skipper Alan Lithgow is also a doubt through illness. Scott Tiffoney, Cece Pepe, Nicky Devlin and Jack Stobbs remain on the sidelines.

Defender Ryan Porteous is suspended for Hibs. The centre-back completes a two-match ban following his red card against Rangers, while striker Florian Kamberi misses out again with a knee injury.

Livingston head coach Gary Holt: "We have a chance on Sunday, against a Hibs team that is playing really well, to end the year in the top six, which would be a phenomenal achievement. But we need to get away from this habit of giving ourselves an excuse for why we don't get results."

Hibernian winger Martin Boyle: "It's been a long year for myself [after time out through injury], but coming in every day the boys keep me on my toes and likewise. It was playing to my strengths [scoring two goals against Hearts] - playing in behind and making a nuisance of myself as I normally do."

Did you know? Lyndon Dykes has scored four goals in Livingston's last two league games, as many as he netted in his previous 13 Premiership appearances.

Pick your Livingston XI

Pick your Hibernian XI

St Johnstone v Ross County (15:00)

Winger Matty Kennedy could return to St Johnstone's starting line-up after staying on the bench during the game on Hamilton Academical's artificial surface.

Midfielder Lewis Spence is suspended for Ross County after being sent off against Motherwell. Forward Lee Erwin could return after missing the defeat by his former club through illness.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "We have the opportunity to move up a place because, if we beat Ross County, we automatically go above them and we have the opportunity to get away from that 11th and 12th spot. It is another massive game and we will need everybody."

Ross County midfielder Blair Spittal: "It would be the worst feeling ever to go into the break off the back of a few poor results. We need to take the performance we put in on Thursday and make sure we get the right result."

Did you know? County have won only one of their last 15 away games in the top flight - a run that has included six draws and eight losses.

Pick your St Johnstone XI

Pick your Ross County XI

Motherwell v Hamilton Academical (15:00)

Motherwell will assess the fitness of strikers Devante Cole and Christopher Long ahead of the Lanarkshire derby. Midfielder Liam Donnelly and forward Christy Manzinga are likely to miss out again with hamstring problems, while long-term absentees Christian Ilic, Charles Dunne and David Turnbull remain out.

Accies are set to be without Lewis Smith for the clash at Fir Park. The young forward missed the Boxing Day defeat by St Johnstone with a knock. Ciaran McKenna and Ryan Fulton remain on the sidelines with knee injuries.

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "Everyone thinks we are sitting third in the league, they are down near the bottom, but that goes out the window on derby day. [We need to] make sure we play our game and play with a coolness and calmness about us, as we have done in recent weeks."

Hamilton defender Alex Gogic: "It is just a matter of time before we pick up points because, in the first half against St Johnstone, we were very dominant, we just needed that final pass. It would be great to finish the year with a win."

Did you know? Hamilton have conceded a league-high of seven goals in the opening 15 minutes of their Premiership matches this season.

Pick your Motherwell XI

Pick your Hamilton Academical XI

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