Celtic FC will be looking to retake the top spot in the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League as the club visits Hearts in the lone fixture on Sunday. Celtic has won three consecutive fixtures in the Scottish Premier League and is 6-1-1 and its last eight matches in Scotland. Celtic was bumped from first place to second place in the league table as Rangers had a midweek make-up fixture against Dundee United. Celtic entered the week ahead of Rangers by two points in the league table, but a 3-0 victory for Rangers put the Gers ahead of Celtic by a point. Hearts meanwhile has just one victory in its last nine Scottish fixtures, winning four and drawing four. Kickoff between the two is set for 12:30 local time at Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh, Scotland. Game is live from ESPN UK TV channel.
Hearts was forced to settle for a 0-0 draw last weekend at home against Dundee United. Both sides had quality chances but neither side was able to break the deadlock and were forced to settle for a point each. Celtic had to come back after blowing an early lead against Motherwell last weekend to earn a victory that kept them at the top of the table, if only for a few days. Georgios Samaras scored in the 14th minute to put Celtic ahead 1-0 early, but Motherwell would fight back. Motherwell would equalise in the 26th minute and just on the other side of the break they would take a 2-1 lead with a 46th minute goal. Aidan McGeady would strike in the 52nd minute though to equalise for Celtic before Marc Antoine-Fortune stole victory for the Bhoys with a 79th minute goal.
Hearts striker Christian Nade is doubtful for Sunday's fixture with a stomach virus while Ian Black and Suso Santana remain out serving bans. Marius Zaliukas will return to the Motherwell lineup after three months out but is unlikely to be used while Ismael Bouzid returns to the lineup after a suspension. Georgios Samaras and Danny Fox are doubtful for Celtic with injuries with Lee Naylor and Paddy McCourt also expected to miss out for the Bhoys this weekend.
Celtic will have the most to gain or lose from Sunday's fixture. The Bhoys could enter the match one, two, or four points behind Rangers depending on the outcome of their match with Motherwell on Saturday. If Rangers loses or is held to a draw, Celtic can retake first place with a win. If Rangers win, Celtic will need a victory to pull themselves back within one point of first place.
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