Celtic vs St Johnstone preview: Ange braced for ‘arm-wrestle’

Team news and preview ahead of Celtic vs St Johnstone in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals on Saturday; kick-off 5.15pm.

Team news

Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis will miss Saturday’s Scottish League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone at Hampden Park with a knee injury.

The match is likely to come too soon for defender Carl Starfelt and midfielder Tom Rogic (both hamstring).

Christopher Jullien is building up his fitness in training after recovering from a long-term knee injury, and fellow defender Greg Taylor is working his way back from a shoulder problem.

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership game between Dundee and Celtic.

St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson is likely to be without Glenn Middleton after the on-loan Rangers winger tweaked a hamstring playing for Scotland Under-21s in midweek.

Striker Stevie May is also out after suffering a knee injury in training that will keep him sidelined until Christmas.

Chris Kane is clear to play as his suspension for getting sent off against St Mirren only applies to the league, but on-loan Buddie Cammy MacPherson – who was not allowed to feature in the draw against his parent club a fortnight ago – misses out again this weekend as he is cup-tied.

Postegoglou braced for Saints ‘arm-wrestle’

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St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson wants his players to believe they can beat Celtic in Saturday’s League Cup semi-final and take another step towards defending their title

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is relishing his first trip to Hampden Park – but is bracing himself for a battle against St Johnstone.

The two sides meet at the national stadium for the chance to play Rangers or Hibernian, who meet on Sunday, in

the December final.

Postecoglou expects Davidson’s side to do everything in their power to hold on to the trophy – one of the two domestic cups they won last season – but is hoping his side can continue the momentum that brought one draw and seven wins in their last eight matches in all competitions before the break.

“They had a fantastic season last year, they won two trophies and they showed that in the big games they are up to

the task and they are not going to fear anyone,” Postecoglou said.

“From our perspective, we are expecting a tough challenge but to be fair whoever you play in the semi-final of a tournament, you know it is not going to be an easy game.

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Former Celtic strikerJohn Hartson has paid tribute to club legend Bertie Auld who has passed away at the age of 83.

“It is going to be a struggle, an arm-wrestle, it is going to be competitive, there is going to be some nervousness in both sides because you know the consequences of success and failure, everything is decided on the day.

“It is going to be a typical cup game where both sides will put their best foot forward and from our perspective it is about making sure we play our football as we have been, we have been in good form, home, away, in all competitions.”

How to follow

Follow Celtic vs St Johnstone in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals in our dedicated live blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms.