Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley´s hamstring injury means he misses Sunday´s Old Firm game at Ibrox but Glenn Loovens has recovered from his own hamstring problems and will be in contention for a place. However, winger Shaun Maloney (thigh) remains doubtful and defender Cha Du-Ri is still sidelined with an ankle injury.
Rangers´ Lee McCulloch is unlikely to make his comeback following knee surgery and Jamie Ness is struggling to be fit after being forced out of last week´s St Mirren game with cramp. Vladimir Weiss and Kirk Broadfoot have both been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Anthony Stokes insists the only thing he is focusing on at the moment is Sunday´s Ibrox derby clash and says he does not even know who Celtic´s next opponents are.
“To be honest, I don’t even know who we are playing after Rangers,” he told the Daily Record. “I’m not looking too far into the future because we take each game as it comes. We are completely focused on winning our next game and seeing where that leaves us. This is the home stretch and we must stand up and be counted.”
The game is being billed as a title decider, with the Hoops currently one point behind Rangers with a game in hand, but the final Old Firm game of the season has been largely overshadowed by this weeks’ events off the pitch.
Hooper top class says Dixie Deans.
Legendary Celtic striker Dixie Deans says Gary Hooper is the best frontman he has seen at Parkhead “for five or six years”.
Hooper was snapped up from Scunthorpe in July, 2010 for £2.4m and has scored 18 goals in 29 starts this season, and Deans told the Scottish Sun: “Hooper has been the signing of the season for Neil Lennon. I’ve been impressed since the first time I saw him and he’s improved even more.
“Celtic have always had good strikers but Hooper is the best for five or six years. Henrik Larsson, Chris Sutton and John Hartson were outstanding under Martin O´Neill but they have been a hard act to follow.
“The boy has everything – he scores goals, makes goals, is strong and is a worker. It’s not very often you get a striker with the whole package but Hooper is top class.”