St Johnstone welcome Celtic to McDiarmid Park in the first of today’s Premiership clashes – and the team news is in from Perth ahead of kick-off.

The Saints welcome Ali Crawford back into the starting XI but remain without Zander Clark as Chris Kane returns to the bench for the hosts.

Celtic v St Johnstone - Premier Sports Cup
(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic are withohut skipper Callum McGregor as a host of other big names miss out and 20-year-old keeper Ryan Mullen named among a very young bench.

With today’s games the final round of fixtures ahead of hastily rearranged winter break, both sides will be desperate for three points ahead of three weeks off.

The Saints have lost their last six Premiership games and have slipped to the foot of the Premiership table, while Celtic have lost ground on Rangers at the top of the table.

St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson was furious with his side after the defeat by Ross County on Wednesday night saw the Staggies create a small gap between themselves and the Saints.

Celtic’s midweek Premiership fixture saw them draw 0-0 with Covid-hit St Mirren as they look to avoid Rangers extending their six-point lead in the race for the title.

Both St Johnstone and Celtic have been hit with a number of injuries and Covid issues recently and Davidson and Ange Postecoglou will no doubt welcome the winter break and the chance to get some of their key players back in action.

The two sides have met twice in the last two months – both times in Glasgow – with Celtic winning 2-0 at Parkhead in October in the Premiership before a 1-0 Hampden defeat in November ended St Johnstone’s hopes of retaining the League Cup they lifted last season.

With kick-off fast approaching in Perth, both sides will be going through their final preparations for their final game of 2021.

Here’s how the teams line up at McDiarmid Park as St Johnstone host Celtic:

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