Strachan makes three changes for Celtic

Celtic approached their Bank of Scotland Premier League clash with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park knowing three points would clinch them a second successive title.

Celtic approached their Bank of Scotland Premier League clash with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park knowing three points would clinch them a second successive title.

Manager Gordon Strachan made three changes to the side which beat St Johnstone in the Tennent’s Scottish Cup semi-final last week at Hampden Park.

Defender John Kennedy returned for the first time in more than three years following an horrific knee injury sustained on his Scotland debut against Romania in March 2004, replacing the suspended Stephen McManus, who served the last of his three-game SPL ban.

Injured left-back Lee Naylor was replaced by Darren O’Dea, with midfielder Thomas Gravesen coming in for Aiden McGeady, who started on the bench.

Kilmarnock goalkeeper Alan Combe returned at the expense of Graeme Smith after recovering from a calf injury while Jamie Hamill dropped out to be replaced by Grant Murray.

Defender Frazer Wright was suspended, his place taken by Gary Locke.

Kilmarnock: Combe, Sylla, Greer, Ford, Grant Murray, Wales, Locke, Fowler, Leven, Nish, Naismith.

Subs: Smith, Di Giacomo, Gibson, O’Leary, Hamill, Skora, Koudou.

Celtic: Boruc, Caldwell, Kennedy, Pressley, O’Dea, Nakamura, Lennon, Gravesen, Hartley, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Riordan.

Subs: Brown, Miller, McGeady, Beattie, Jarosik, Perrier Doumbe, Sheridan.

Referee: C Thomson (Scotland)

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