Celtic are hitting top form: Commons

Kris Commons says Celtic have the firepower to shoot their way to this season's Scottish Premier League title.

Updated: April 29, 2011 10:10 IST
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Glasgow: Kris Commons says Celtic have the firepower to shoot their way to this season's Scottish Premier League title.

After scoring eight in their previous two matches the Hoops were held to a stalemate by rivals Rangers in last weekend's Old Firm derby. However they forced Gers keeper Allan McGregor to make a series of saves as they earned the point that leaves them odds on favourites to win the championship.

Celtic, who trail Rangers by one point but with a game in hand, know the destiny of the title is in their own hands.

And Commons says his teammates are hitting top form as they target the five wins, starting with Sunday's match against Dundee United, that will see them bring the league trophy back to Parkhead for the first time in three years.

"With a handful of games left, for us to be hitting peak form at this stage of the season is ideal," the Scotland international, who has netted nine times in 16 games since his arrival from Derby in January, said.

"I think every opponent will be fearing us because we are in such good form."

"This is the business end of the season. We have a cup and SPL title to win."

"We know what we have to do to have some silverware at the end of the season - and that's why I came to this club."

"It's in our hands, and that's the most important thing."

While the attackers are taking their chances at one end of the field the case for the defence makes good reading as well with five clean sheets in a row.

This has helped the Hoops to create an eight-goal advantage over Rangers in terms of goal difference, which could prove vital in such a tight title race. The Hoops will be without Joe Ledley, who was ruled out for the rest of the season after limping out of the Old Firm match with a thigh injury.

They will face an in-form Dundee United side who has won seven out of their past nine SPL matches that has seen them close to within seven points of Hearts in third.

Rangers could help heap the pressure on their rivals by moving four points clear with a victory away to Motherwell 24 hours before Celtic take to the pitch on Sunday.

Manager Walter Smith, who will hand over to assistant Ally McCoist in the summer, has targeted wins in their final four matches to make life as difficult as possible for their title rivals.

"What I would say is that if we manage to do that it would be a terrific finish to the season, regardless of how the championship finishes up," the Gers gaffer said.

"Of course we obviously hope that if we can win each match then that pressure will result in Celtic doing something that would be of benefit to us," Smith said.

Rangers hope to have midfielders Lee McCulloch and Jamie Ness back for the run-in, but neither is likely to start against Scottish Cup finalists Motherwell as they bid to build up their match fitness.

The Gers are without Vladimir Weiss, Kyle Bartley and Kirk Broadfoot for the season through injury.

Elsewhere, on Monday Hamilton need to win away at St Mirren if they are to have any chance of catching their rivals, who are nine points above them, in the bid to avoid relegation.

Fixtures (1500 unless otherwise stated)


Motherwell v Rangers (1200)

Aberdeen v Inverness CT

Hibernian v St Johnstone

Kilmarnock v Hearts


Celtic v Dundee United (1245)


St Mirren v Hamilton

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