Monday, November 20, 2017

Stokes aims to fire Celtic past old club Hibs

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 25 Sep 2010

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Celtic have the chance to open up a three-point gap at the top of the Scottish Premier League when Hibernian visit Celtic Park on Saturday.

The Hoops have had a 100 percent winning start to the season and currently sit behind Rangers in second place on goals scored.

However, with their rivals not taking on Aberdeen until Sunday Neil Lennon’s side hope to take advantage and heap the pressure on the Gers with a win against Hibs.

John Hughes’s side have had an indifferent start to their season with just five points from five games, leaving them trailing their hosts by 10 points, and were knocked out the League Cup by St Johnstone in midweek.

Hibs have won just eight matches in 2010 and pressure is already mounting on Hughes who led his side to a European spot last term.

One player who is desperate to be involved in the game is Celtic’s latest signing Anthony Stokes.

The striker joined the Parkhead club from Hibs on transfer deadline day, scoring three times since his arrival.

“I want to go out and beat them,” the Irish international said.

“Hibs were great for me. But once I go across that line that is out the window. I enjoyed my time and I scored a lot of goals, but it is like any club, if you leave, you know you are going to be the number one target.

“I would love to be involved. You always want to play against your old team-mates and see just how you fare.”

Striker Georgios Samaras could feature against Hibs after his hat-trick against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the League Cup.

On Sunday Old Firm rivals Rangers face a difficult test away to Aberdeen.

Bosnian defender Sasa Papac has only won at Pittodrie once in his four years in Scotland and knows Walter Smith’s side face a tough task in keeping their 100 percent start to the season continuing.

“The game against Aberdeen is the biggest test we have had in the SPL so far this season,” he said.

“We always get a very hard game up there and I am sure this weekend will be no different.

“In the last two seasons we haven’t won this fixture. It is very important to us that we go on and win this game at Pittodrie because it has been too long without a result there.”

Defender Andy Webster started his first game of the season against Dunfermline in the League Cup midweek and could come into contention for a starting role as will Kyle Lafferty who netted his first hat-trick for Rangers in the same match.

Elsewhere on Saturday, bottom club Hamilton take on Kilmarnock who were narrowly beaten by Celtic last weekend.

Third place Hearts host Motherwell at Tynecastle hoping to bounce back from their League Cup defeat to First Division Falkirk.

St Johnstone are away to Dundee United at Tannadice and St Mirren and Inverness clash in Paisley.

Fixtures

Saturday

Celtic v Hibernian, Dundee United v St Johnstone, Hamilton v Kilmarnock, Hearts v Motherwell, St Mirren v Inverness CT

Sunday

Aberdeen v Rangers

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