SPL Preview: Celtic, Motherwell hit the road
By Football News
Celtic will look to bounce back from a loss at Motherwell when they visit Ross County in the Scottish Premier League on Sunday.
Neil Lennon's side have already clinched the title - they lead the league by 12 points with just three matches to play - but will want to finish the campaign on a positive note.
The Scottish champions threw away the lead in their 3-1 defeat at Fir Park but will feel confident against a Ross County side who have won just one of their last five matches.
That triumph did come in their last game though, as Northern Irishman Ivan Sproule scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Dundee United.
Ross County will have no shortage of motivation, with the newly-promoted club still in the running for a European berth.
With Celtic set to go into the UEFA Champions League qualifiers, the sides finishing in second and third will be involved in the second-tier competition, the UEFA Europa League.
Ross County are fifth after making the Championship group before the cut-off almost three weeks ago, and they are just two points behind third-placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Inverness are just one point ahead of St. Johnstone, making their home clash against Motherwell on Saturday absolutely vital.
Inverness have lost their last two matches, to Celtic and St. Johnstone respectively, and need to bounce back immediately - but that will not be easy against a Motherwell side who are unbeaten in eight games.
Motherwell's Michael Higdon - the SPL's top scorer in the SPL with 25 goals this campaign - has been prolific recently, netting in seven of his last eight games.
Also on Saturday, Dundee United will look to bounce back from consecutive losses when they host St. Johnstone while in the relegation group, strugglers St. Mirren travel to Hearts.
St. Mirren know that getting a point - or Dundee failing to beat Aberdeen on Sunday - will keep them in the division next season.
Dundee are eight points adrift of safety with just three games to play.
Sunday's other match is also in the relegation group as Kilmarnock battle Hibernian.