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SVIATCHENKO HOMES IN ON HAT-TRICK

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ERIK SVIATCHENKO is looking for a happy hat-trick at home for the Hoops as they prepare for the visit of Dundee on Saturday.

On Tuesday, in the first of three successive Premiership fixtures at Parkhead, Leigh Griffiths claimed the only goal against Hamilton Accies, a win which lifted the champions 11 points clear at the top with two games in hand.

Celtic, unbeaten in 19 domestic games, host Paul Hartley’s Dens Parkers at the weekend before taking on Partick Thistle in the east end of Glasgow on Tuesday.

Sviatchenko is hoping to use home advantage to build on their commanding lead as they zero in on their sixth successive crown.

The Danish international defender said: “It is really important. It is about keep moving on and always wanting to progress in some way and the game against Hamilton showed that, as well.

“These games occur in a season where it is always a bit tense and even though we always want to perform our best and play great football, some of these games will happen in the season.

“But the boys stood up and won 1-0 and these games are important, as well, to take with us. Now we have a few home games and it is going to be nice playing at Celtic Park.”

Hoops gaffer Brendan Rodgers admitted his team did not play their best against Hamilton, but he praised his players’ attitude.

He also took the unusual step of starting with both Griffiths and Moussa Dembele up front and they combined in the 36th minute to break the deadlock.

The French Under-21 international was sent clear by Tom Rogic and unselfishly squared the ball for his strike partner to roll in his 11th goal of the season.

Sviatchenko added: “They showed great combinations and I think they suited each other well up there. I believe we saw something that is really good.”

* Sviatchenko was talking to Celtic TV.
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