MOTHERWELL have played six Premiership games since Matt O’Riley claimed Celtic’s dramatic stoppage-time clincher in the champions’ 2-1 triumph at Fir Park in late September.
Amazingly, Stuart Kettlewell’s side have failed to win any of those encounters with four defeats and two draws in a disappointing sequence for the Lanarkshire club.
However, Brendan Rodgers insisted the Hoops will give them total respect when the teams meet at Parkhead on Saturday afternoon.
Scotland’s title kings, bidding for their twelfth crown in 13 years, can extend their lead at the Premiership pinnacle to 11 points if they are successful.
DIDN’T HE DO WELL…Brendan Rodgers gives the thumb’s up after Celtic 2-1 win at Fir Park in September.
Their nearest challengers, Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side, will be in action the following day when they travel to take on Aberdeen at Pittodrie in a High Noon showdown.
The Dons are hoping to make a swift recovery after their six-goal mauling from Celtic in the east end of Glasgow before the international break.
Rodgers, preparing his players for another tough challenge, said: “We had a really good game against them last time out – and Stuart is an excellent young coach who is developing the style there.
“When I have seen them play, they have been very well coached and they work very hard.
“So, for us, we will give them that respect. We are coming back from the international break and we have to very quickly get the team synchronised again.
“We are looking to start where we left off in our last home game. So, we will prepare for a tough game, but our focus is very much on working how we want to.”
HOOPY DAZE…Luis Palma scored his first-ever Celtic goal in the 2-1 victory at Motherwell.
Rodgers will delay formalising his line-up until all his players return from representing their various countries.
The Irishman, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “You are always hoping and praying your internationalists come back safe and well.
“Luis Palma and Alistair Johnston won’t be back until Friday. We will assess them and see how they are.
“But the rest of the guys have come back well. Obviously, the guys who have played domestically with Scotland are fine.
“So, there is nothing injury-wise at this moment in time to report.”