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Football | Europe

Kris Commons © Action Images

Celtic ready to go in triple title bid



Celtic forward Kris Commons is raring to go as the Scottish Premier League prepares to come out of cold storage following its winter break.

The league shut down for two weeks at the beginning of January allowing the Celtic players a much needed break as they continue to battle on four fronts.

Celtic top the league by nine points and have a Scottish League Cup semifinal match against St Mirren before they face Italian giants Juventus in their Champions League last 16 match.

After a difficult year Commons was getting back to his best before an injury sustained in the Champions League match against Spartak Moscow at the beginning of December ruled him out for several weeks.

But after playing 45 minutes in the friendly win over Steaua Bucharest in Marbella in midweek the Scotland international is looking forward to getting back into action when Hearts come calling at Parkhead on Saturday.

"I needed that. I've played one game in five or six weeks, so I definitely needed it," Commons said.

"Sometimes with these friendlies, when you are abroad, you can go through the motions. But I thought there was a decent tempo to the game. It's back to basics now and playing football.

"I am looking forward to being back home and back into the league action this weekend."

Celtic completed the signing of Australian international Tom Rogic from Central Coast Mariners during the winter break.

"I heard rumours Fulham had bid for him and that he was supposed to have been going to Reading," the Scotland star said.

"I have seen him train once and it seems like he has plenty of ability so he'll probably fit in nicely.

"It's competition, not just for me but also for Joe Ledley, and it's always nice to have healthy competition because it makes you better."

Defenders Kelvin Wilson and Efe Ambrose will both miss the match against Hearts due to suspension and international duty respectively but new signing Rami Gershon should be available to make his debut.

The hamstring injury picked up by James Forrest at the end of December is likely to rule him out the match but Ledley should be fit.

Elsewhere, Inverness Caledonian Thistle will attempt to hold on to second spot when they host Aberdeen.

The Highlands outfit were given a boost earlier this month when manager Terry Butcher opted to turn down the advances of English side Barnsley while the Dons might be about to lose star winger Ryan Fraser who is in talks with Bournemouth.

High-flying Hibernian will want to continue their good form when they take on bottom of the table Dundee at Easter Road.

Dundee United will play their first game since manager Peter Houston announced he will leave the club at the end of the season when they travel to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock.

Fixtures:

Saturday

St Mirren v Ross County

Celtic v Hearts

Hibernian v Dundee

Inverness CT v Aberdeen

Kilmarnock v Dundee United

Sunday

Motherwell v St Johnstone

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