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Ross County have enjoyed their two-week break before the Championship Group gets off and running this weekend after they booked their spot in the top six with a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen
It seemed as though the Staggies may come up short in their quest for a top-six spot when their meeting with the Dons entered the closing stages with the encounter still goalless.
However, there was to be late drama when Jonny Hayes was penalised for a handball in the box, presenting Joseph Hungbo with the chance to win the game from the spot, which the 22-year-old did with great composure.
With a place in the Championship Group secured, Ross County find themselves in fifth position, with just one point separating them from a Europa Conference League place.
The Staggies will believe that they have every chance of moving into the top four in the final five matches, especially as only Celtic and Rangers have collected more points in 2022 than Sunday’s hosts.
Although they will be reeling from that defeat, the Hoops can still achieve a domestic double, having already clinched the League Cup.
With another Old Firm meeting scheduled for next weekend, Celtic will be hoping that they can take at least a six-point lead into that encounter, and they will be expecting to do just that with Ange Postecoglu’s side currently enjoying a run of five consecutive league victories.
Having scored at least two goals in nine of their previous 10 Scottish Premiership games, Sunday’s visitors will believe that they have the firepower to overcome Ross County at the Global Energy Stadium.
The hosts are without the injured Ashley Maynard-Brewer, while Josh Sims is a doubt after missing the last six matches.
Kayne Ramsay returns to the squad after serving a two-match suspension, although the Southampton loanee may have to settle for a place among the substitutes.
After coming off the bench to score the winner against Aberdeen, Hungbo could be rewarded with a starting berth for Sunday’s contest.
As for Celtic, they are expected to be without Josip Juranovic for at least a couple of weeks after the 26-year-old picked up an injury against Rangers.
With Juranovic unavailable, Anthony Ralston is likely to come in at right-back to feature alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers, Starfelt and Taylor in a back four.
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Postecoglu could also make a change in the front three, with Georgios Giakoumakis in line for a recall after the Greece international missed the Scottish Cup semi-final due to a hamstring issue.
Ross County possible starting lineup:
Laidlaw; Randall, Baldwin, Iacovitti, Vokins; Callachan, Tillson; Hungbo, Paton, Charles-Cook; White
Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Ralston, Starfelt, Carter-Vickers, Taylor; Hatate, McGregor, Rogic; Jota, Maeda, Giakoumakis