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CELTIC SCRAPE AHEAD

Celtic managed to get a narrow 1-0 victory over Rangers, which propelled them to the top of the Scottish Premier League table. Rangers have been dominate since the start of the season, but have started to slip of late.

CELTIC TACKLE SECTARIAN CHANTING

Celtic were recently charged by UEFA and were fined £ 12,000 after their supporters displayed banners that criticised UEFA in an obscene manner. The banners, which were put just before the match against Rennes in the Europa League, has caused much problems to Celtic and its supporters.

Even though the fine is pretty low compared to the revenues that the Scottish club make, Celtic are currently worried about the consequence of the charges by UEFA. The Celtic supporters by making illicit chants and displaying obscene banners in protest of the IRA.

Wanyama wants Old Firm nod

Victor Wanyama hopes he will be given the chance to prove himself in the forthcoming Old Firm match.

The Celtic midfielder was forced to watch on from the bench when his side went down 4-2 at Ibrox in September, but now he hopes his manager Neil Lennon will give him the green light to get involved.

It would be nice to play because I didn’t get off the bench last time. It’s the kind of game every player wants to play in,” he said.

“I think the fans have shown very good support to us and myself. They are always behind us and I am very happy to have fans like that.”

STOKES vs COOPER

A competition is brewing within the Celtic dressing room, but it is one that both fans and their manager will be welcoming it, because it is the competition between strikers of Anthony Stokes and Gary Cooper.

Anthony Stokes scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of St Mirren during the weekend in a match that has helped cause a real shift in the title race in the Scottish Premier League - not least because Kilmarnock managed a surprising 1-0 win over Rangers.

LEDLEY STILL BELIEVES

Celtic midfielder Joe Ledley believes that Celtic can still win the Scottish Premier League - though they might have to win all 26 remaining games, including two Old Firm derbies!

Speaking after another disappointing draw on Saturday, just hours after Rangers had walked off with another three points, Ledley is aware that the team is falling behind in the title race.

"We still believe and believe in the management, we just need to work harder."

CELTIC MIDFIELDER KEEN ON ST MIRREN RETURN

Graham Carey has said that he is very keen to return to St Mirren from Celtic. The 22-year old appears to be surplus to requirements and has spent the majority of the last three seasons out on loan, including a successful spell in Paisley in 2010.. He said that he is now focusing on playing regularly and would consider a return to St Mirren if the opportunity arose.

"I don't know what the future holds for me," Carey said. “I am meeting with Celtic this week and try and get things moving on that front.

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HOOPER PICKS UP DOUBLE AWARDS

Gary Hooper won two awards representing Celtic, which has made the young striker even more exciting. The last time Gary Hooper won a championship he had to settle for a lap of honour around the pitch because he wasn't old enough to drink champagne.

Now the Celtic striker hopes the corks will be popping as he chases a clutch of honours that will make this campaign the best of his life.

Hooper, 23, picked up a double nomination yesterday for the Cheque Centre PFA player and young player of the year as he bids to become the first SPL star since Aiden McGeady to win both.

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LENNON DISAPPOINTED WITH SCOTTISH PRIEMIER LEAGUE

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has criticised the decision of SPL to bring forward the beginning of next season to 23rd July.

The SPL announced on Monday that the 2011-12 campaign would open earlier than is customary in a bid to help teams involved in qualifying for European competition. The league also wants to avoid the prospect of midweek fixtures throughout winter.

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HOOPER ENJOYING CELTIC LIFE

Gary Hooper has said that he is enjoying with playing in Celtic. The Parkhead striker believes Neil Lennon’s side have taken a great deal of heart from their performance the last time the two clubs clashed.

Despite being reduced to 10 men in the first-half at Ibrox, when goalkeeper Fraser Forster was sent packing for bringing down Steven Naismith, Celtic emerged with a 2-2 draw.

And Hooper says the way they managed to dominate Rangers with a man less is fresh in the Celtic players’ minds as they prepare for this weekend’s SPL encounter.

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FORREST SIGNS NEW DEAL

James Forrest has signed a new deal with Celtic and he is one of the promising youngsters at the club. The 19-year-old, a product of the Celtic Youth Academy, made his first-team debut against Motherwell towards the end of last season, and he found the back of the net in a 4-0 success.

The youngster been an important part of manager Neil Lennon's squad this term and scored one of Celtic's four goals in the victory over Hearts on Wednesday.

So far, James has made 15 first-team appearances, scoring four goals, and his wing play has thrilled Celtic's success-hungry fans.

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