St Johnstone v Celtic preview

Date published: Thursday 14th May 2015 1:31

Central defender Virgil van Dijk will be assessed before the game after he picked up a knock in the dying minutes of the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie last Sunday.

Midfield duo Nir Bitton and Stefan Johansen will be rested for the trip to McDiarmid Park but defender Charlie Mulgrew, who has been out since December with a hamstring problem, returns to the squad and should figure at some point.

But first-team coach John Kennedy is adamant the champions will be putting out a strong team though, regardless of any reshuffle of the starting line-up.

“There may be one or two changes but there won’t be wholesale changes,” he said. “The league is won but we have players here who want to finish the season on a high and stay in the team.

“The last two games are not ‘nothing’ games for us. There are players who might get an opportunity to show that they can play at this level and that’s the attitude we approach every season with. How far can we push this squad?”

St Johnstone skipper Dave Mackay will miss the visit of the champions as the 35-year-old defender prepares to undergo surgery on a long-standing hip problem.

But manager Tommy Wright can again call on the services of loan striker Brian Graham who was forced to sit out last week’s match against his parent club Dundee United.

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