Niko Kranjcar could be out for the rest of the season after sustaining a knee injury, Leigh Griffiths pleads with boss Brendan Rodgers to unleash him against Rangers, and Lee Wallace admits he’s envious of Celtic’s Champions League status.
Kranjcar ‘out for season’
Rangers face an anxious wait over Niko Kranjcar after the midfielder sustained what looks to be a nasty knee injury in training.
The player is said to have turned awkwardly before hitting the deck and writhing in agony.
The club are waiting for the swelling to go down before they can find out the full extent, but early indications are that Kranjcar has damaged his cruciate ligament. (The Sun)
Griffiths plea to Rodgers
Leigh Griffiths has begged boss Brendan Rodgers to unleash him alongside Moussa Dembele when Celtic play Rangers this Sunday.
Griffiths has been forced to watch from the bench in recent weeks as team-mate Dembele has been preferred in attack.
However, rather than replace him, Griffiths wants to start up front alongside the Frenchman, believing the pair could “run riot” against Rangers. (Daily Record)
Wallace envious of Celtic
Lee Wallace has admitted to feeling envious of Celtic’s Champions League campaign.
The defender has never before played in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition, and years of watching on as a fan have left him desperate to get there one day.
Although, he revealed that he viewed Barcelona v Manchester City rather than Celtic’s defeat to Gladbach on Wednesday evening. (Evening Times)
Archibald staying at Thistle
Alan Archibald insists he has unfinished business at Partick Thistle but has designs on bossing in England in the future after being strongly linked with Shrewsbury Town.
The Shrews, bottom of League One, sacked Micky Mellon two weeks ago and made an inquiry about Archibald on Wednesday having been impressed by his track record of keeping Thistle in the Premiership.
However, the Firhill manager has not spoken to Shrewsbury and gave a clear indication that, while flattered, would prefer to get on with the job of lifting the Jags away from the danger area. (The Scotsman)
Griffiths reminded of Deila
Leigh Griffiths says this current campaign reminds him of the first season under Ronny Deila from a personal point of view as the striker struggles to break into the Celtic starting XI.
Griffiths came close to exiting the club in 2014 but stayed put and eventually got his chance, leading the club in scoring over the next 18 months, including hitting 40 last term.
However, since the arrival of Moussa Dembele and an untimely injury, Griffiths has been forced to watch from the sidelines once more. (Various)
• Griffiths has backed Scotland boss Gordon Strachan and insists there is no bad blood between the two despite the manager’s remarks about the Celtic player’s height. (Daily Record)
Lennon blasts Rotherham
Neil Lennon has launched a passionate defence of his Hibernian predecessor Alan Stubbs, describing his dismissal by Rotherham as “ridiculous” and criticising the cut-throat culture of the SkyBet Championship.
Stubbs lasted just four months – 14 games – at the New York Stadium. He was handed a three-year deal at Rotherham by Tony Stewart and allowed to sign 13 players including ex-SPFL regulars Will Vaulks, Scott Allan and Darnell Fisher.
However, that counted for nothing following a nightmare start to the season and Lennon empathises with his former Celtic team-mate. (The Scotsman)
‘Love of good woman’ aiding Doran
Aaron Doran is working harder than ever before on the training field thanks to the love of a good woman, according to Inverness CT boss Richie Foran.
Doran made a comeback this season after missing all the previous league campaign through injury.
He’s currently working hard to get himself back into the Inverness CT starting XI, with Foran crediting a desire to prove the doubters and a steadying presence in his personal life. (Press and Journal)
Brown: Rangers better without Barton
Scott Brown believes Celtic will need to be on their guard this weekend because Rangers are proving they are a better side without Joey Barton.
The Celtic skipper was unwittingly dragged into a feud with the now-suspended Rangers midfielder in the run-up to last month’s league clash, which saw the Parkhead side canter to a 5-1 victory.
But he laughed off Barton’s absence from Sunday’s BetFred League Cup semi-final rematch, saying: “After that last performance it’s quite amusing.” (The Scotsman)
• Brown insists Celtic will learn and grow as a team after their loss to Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Derek McInnes hopes former Aberdeen youngster Jai Quitongo doesn’t come back to haunt him this weekend. (The Scotsman)
• Celtic target Stuart Webber, currently head of football operations at Huddesfield, as their new chief scout. (Daily Mail)
• Jordan McMillan is training with Dunfermline as the defender looks to make his return to football after his drugs ban. (Various)
• Kosta Gadzhalov could keep stand-in captain Darren O’Dea out of the team when Dundee take on St Johnstone this Sunday after an impressive showing against Hearts. (Evening Telegraph)