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CELTIC WAIT FOR BITTON

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RONNY DEILA will give midfield enforcer Nir Bitton every chance of recovering from injury before he names his team to face Dundee United in the League Cup Final tomorrow.
The Israeli international is battling against an ankle knock, but the Celtic boss is hopeful he will be able to take his place alongside Scott Brown in the team’s engine room.
The Hoops, of course, will be missing Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven who are both Cup-tied after playing for United in the tournament before their £2million January switch to Parkhead.
Armstrong is already a popular figure among the support and that was proved again last night when he made an appearance at the hugely-successful CQN 11 Charity Fundraiser at the Kerrydale Suite.
It’s highly unlikely that Mikael Lustig and Charlie Mulgrew will be available, but the better news is that Virgil Van Dijk has been cleared to play after his nonsensical red card at Tannadice on Sunday while Kris Commons has looked good in training.
United will be without suspended Nadir Ciftci whose kick at skipper Brown’s head last week was deemed to be not proven by the powers-that-be at Hampden. Should have gone to SpecSavers.
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Celtic hope to finish off the job they started in the League Cup when they saw off Championship leaders Hearts 3-0 in round three with goals from John Guidetti, Kris Commons (penalty) and an Adam Eckersley own goal. Ten-man Partick Thistle were walloped 6-0 at Parkhead in the quarter-finals – Guidetti scoring a hat-trick, Leigh Griffiths claiming a double and Emilio Izaguirre getting in on the act. One of Kenny McDowall’s last games in temporary charge at Ibrox was the semi-final where the Hoops comfortably won with first-half goals from Griffiths and Commons.

In Celtic’s first SPFL meeting against Jackie McNamara’s team in August they won with ease, racking up an one-sided 6-1 scoreline. However, the Tayside outfit got revenge just before the turn of the year with a 2-1 victory – Stuart Armstrong scoring the winner!

And it was 1-1 in the Scottish Cup quarter-final last Sunday with the sides meeting again in the replay on Wednesday and in the Premiership on Saturday, with both games at Celtic Park.
 
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