Celtic v Dundee United
Celtic’s first home game of the season sees them up against a resilient Dundee United side that has yet to lose a league match this term.
An anxious Neil Lennon looked on from the Hampden stands on Wednesday night as his Celtic captain, Scott Brown, was replaced after just twenty minutes through injury, after a collision with Denmark’s Simon Kjaer.
Craig Levein’s decision to replace him was probably more in deference to the concerned Celtic manager than because of any serious injury, and Brown should be fit to face Dundee United.
Emilio Izzaguirre is ruled out for the rest of the year having broken a fibula against Aberdeen last weekend, Neil Lennon describing the loss to both player and club as, ‘a hammer blow.’
Lennon will be hopeful of having Kris Commons back after the midfielder had to withdraw from the Scotland squad due to a foot injury. Commons reported for international duty despite his injury, only to be sent back to Celtic’s Lennoxtown training complex to receive treatment. Celtic will be without defender Glen Loovens who has been ruled out for six weeks after injuring his hamstring in training.
Dundee United manager Peter Houston, who moonlights as the assistant Scotland manager, will be pleased with his teams start to the season, but he too has his injury worries.
Midfielder Scott Severin has undergone treatment for a triple leg break, after breaking his fibula and tibia in the 1-1 draw against St Mirren last weekend. Severin also suffered ligament damage, and at 32, the recovery could be long and tough.
On a happier note, Houston is delighted to have secured contract extensions for striker Jon Daly and former Longford Town defender Sean Dillon. Both players have been secured until May 2013.
Houston was full of praise for both players, ‘He [Daly] is respected by the players and staff and he has also shown himself to be willing to play anywhere for the team. He has filled the central back position superbly on a few occasions but his strike rate this season shows that he is most important to the team as a striker.
Sean’s performances since moving to central defence have shown that he is more than capable of playing there week in week out,’ added Houston.
‘He brings plenty of experience to our young squad, is a model professional who goes about his business in the right way and I’m delighted that he has agreed to extend his contract at the club.’
Prediction: Home win