Philippe Clement praises Celtic star ahead of Old Firm, Kilmarnock ace discusses Europe pressure

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A roundup of the latest headlines in the Scottish Premiership as the action returns this weekend.

The Scottish Premiership returns this weekend and the main focus is firmly on Sunday’s clash between title rivals Celtic and Rangers. Brendan Rodgers’ side are currently top the table with a one-point cushion, but with the Gers holding a game in-hand, the reigning champions will benefit from an important win at Ibrox.

Hearts are on the road to face St Mirren today while Hibs will host St Johnstone at Easter Road. As we prepare to sink our teeth into another round of action, let’s take a look at some of the latest headlines around the Premiership.

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Clement praises Celtic star ahead of Old Firm

Ahead of their blockbuster clash with Celtic, Rangers manager Philippe Clement has singled out Callum McGregor with some high praise but has stressed that their challenge doesn’t just lie with keeping the influential midfielder quiet.

“He’s a very good player and he’s somebody with a lot of quality. He’s really good on the ball and he’s really important for their team, so it’s important to take that strength out of their team and that’s one part you need to do. But it’s not only about one player,” Clement said, via the latest print edition of Daily Record.

McGregor has recently been out with an Achilles problem and while rumours have swirled about him potentially being out for the rest of the season, Rodgers has been hopeful of his return. However, due to his lack of his match fitness, there is a big risk if the boss opts to start him in such a high pressure match.

Killie star targeting European football

While Hibs are battling for a top six finish this season, Kilmarnock are looking strong in fourth, which is a huge improvement from last year’s finish. Killie finished just nine points above the relegation spot but they have 45 on the board so far this term and European football is firmly in sight according to Lewis Mayo.

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The Kilmarnock defender has reflected on how quickly his side’s form has turned around and hopes fans can be proud of their progress, especially as they face the pressure of battling for a spot in Europe.

“Players want to be part of big fixtures and big games and I think for the fans it would generate some buzz as well. Everyone wants to now go and get a European spot. In a way, the pressure’s helped us get to where we are and I don’t think it’s anything to be scared of. I think it’s a privilege at times to have that pressure but it’s definitely nice to have the change of atmosphere,” Mayo said in a recent interview.

“There’s a buzz and we’ve ticked off that big milestone and I think everyone at the club, the fans especially can be proud of the club and where the team are right now.”