Celtic boss Ronny Deila taking one game at a time

Celtic manager Ronny Deila
Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Celtic return to Tayside for the second time in four days to face familiar foes in Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday - the seventh occasion this season that the two clubs have faced each other with Jackie McNamara’s side having just one win to their name.

The Parkhead men have netted no fewer than 17 goals in the six previous encounters but have yet to record a victory at Tannadice during the current campaign with previous visits resulting in a 1-1 draw on Scottish Cup business and a 2-1 win for the home side in the earlier League fixture.

Ronny Deila’s men have recovered from last weekend’s bitter disappointment of Scottish Cup elimination at the hands of Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Hampden - winning 2-1 against Dundee at Dens Park in midweek, a result that leaves the Parkhead men just eight points from the Premiership title.

Both Charlie Mulgrew and Mikael Lustig remain long-term injury absentees but Adam Matthews and Stefan Johansen return whilst Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong will be desperate to make an impression against their former club, having been cup-tied and therefore ineligible for the Inverness defeat.

Celtic manager Deila spoke of his admiration for Jackie McNamara’s side.

“I have a lot of respect for Dundee United - they have had a good season. It will be a difficult game at Tannadice,” he said.

“It will be a high intensity game. It was tough for them when we signed two of their best players in Gary and Stuart.”

With Celtic now eight points clear of Aberdeen with just five games remaining the countdown is on amongst Celtic fans as to the eventual venue where the title will be clinched.

Deila however - like any manager - would not look further ahead than the next game.

“We have to simply focus on one game at a time,” he said. “We just need to keep winning.”