Celtic skipper Scott Brown will miss next league game after Killie booking

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Scott Brown’s irritation at his booking at Rugby Park this weekend will grow after confirmation that the player will now miss Celtic’s next league game.

Brown will add to Celtic’s personnel problems, although with almost a fortnight before the Parkhead side are back in league action, Brendan Rodgers will look to have a few players fit and back in the starting XI.

The Hoops midfielder was irked that the yellow card at Rugby Park was given at all, believing that Hearts manager Craig Levein’s comments in the aftermath of Celtic’s win last week made him a marked man.

Levein had claimed that “all of Scottish football needed protection” from Brown, a comment offered in the aftermath of a challenge that left Tynecastle kid Harry Cochrane injured.

That left Brown irked at the weekend, believing that Kevin Clancy booked him for his first foul in the game.

And with a ton of Celtic players currently out injured, Rodgers will not welcome the news that Brown’s booking will now see him serve a one-game suspension for the league meeting with St Johnstone later this month.

The Celtic captain will be eligible for this weekend’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie against Partick Thistle, a game that is followed by the Europa League first-leg clash against Zenit St Petersburg.

However, he will sit out the league encounter the following Sunday as the Hoops host Tommy Wright’s side.

With Craig Gordon, Leigh Griffiths, Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong, Kristoffer Ajer, Dedryck Boyata and Jonny Hayes all currently injured, the last thing Celtic need is another absentee.

Patrick Roberts, who has been out of action with a hamstring injury since the end of November, is believed to be pushing to be fit for Saturday’s meeting with Thistle although it could be that the Parkhead side are reluctant to rush him back.

Croatian defender Jozo Simunovic is fit for the game against the Jags. The player missed the weekend defeat at Rugby Park purely because the artificial surface at Kilmarnock is considered unsuitable for a player who has had knee injuries in the past.

Anthony Ralston could be back in contention for a game against Zenit St Petersburg in next week’s Europa League.

The 19-year-old started his first game since undergoing surgery in September when he was part of the Celtic development team who beat St Johnstone 3-0 in the Youth Cup yesterday afternoon.

Ralston emerged into the senior team earlier this season and found himself lining up against Neymar when Celtic hosted PSG in the group stages of the Champions League.

Given the perennial injuries to the Hoop’s defence this season, the news that Ralston is ebbing his way back to full fitness will be warmly welcomed by the Parkhead side.



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