Kilmarnock host Celtic at Rugby Park in the SPFL tomorrow evening. Both clubs have endured a dreadful run of form in recent months. The hosts sacked manager Alex Dyer after Killie’s loss against St Johnstone at the weekend meant that the Ayrshire side had won just three matches in their last 12. Meanwhile, Celtic are on an unprecedented streak of nine wins in 24 games. A January review of the management team was promised by the club’s hierarchy but didn’t materialise. As such, Neil Lennon remains in the hot seat but is very much a man under pressure.
In that sense, both clubs have different managerial questions going into the fixture.
Kilmarnock will be under the control of a caretaker boss, who is as yet unknown. Their sporting director, James Fowler, is favourite for the job, whilst Tommy Wright and Stephen Robinson are both available. Whoever does take charge over the next few games could answer the question of who the new boss will be if they impress.
In the Celtic camp, Neil Lennon knows that every passing game without a win brings the threat of being axed that bit closer. The Hoops are only five points ahead of Aberdeen and with the title race over, they need to ensure that they finish second to allow a chance at Champions League qualification next season.
Kilmarnock will be without veteran defender Kirk Broadfoot, who has a knee problem, and Stuart Findlay is out with an ankle injury. Callum Waters is sidelined with an abdominal issue, while winger Greg Kiltie and former Celtic midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu are also doubtful.
Celtic cannot call upon Christopher Jullien and James Forrest, who are long term absentees. Stephen Welsh is likely to play at centre half instead of Shane Duffy, unless the reported loan signing of Jonjoe Kenny is confirmed ahead of the fixture, which would then enable Kris Ajer to move inside. Scott Bain is expected to start in goal and Greg Taylor is still thought to be preferred to Diego Laxalt.
All eyes will be on the team sheet to see who gets the nod to play up front after Neil Lennon subbed Griffiths at half time against St Mirren on Saturday and slammed him for his lack of fitness. Tom Rogic came on in his place as Celtic changed to a 4-5-1 shape, though Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala are both options if Celtic go ahead with their usual 4-4-2 formation.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm and is live on Sky Sports Football.