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Celtic want to clinch title in style – Sviatchenko

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko has promised to clinch the Scottish Premiership championship in style when they entertain Aberdeen at Parkhead on Sunday.

The Glasgow giants all but secured their fifth title in a row with a 3-1 win over Hearts last weekend but the Dons’ 4-1 thrashing of Motherwell temporarily suspended Celtic’s official confirmation as champions.

However, the Hoops hold a nine-point advantage with three games left and a goal difference that is vastly superior to Aberdeen’s, meaning the title is firmly in the Glasgow club’s grasp. 

A point would be enough for Ronny Deila’s side against Aberdeen on Sunday and Danish defender Sviatchenko says the players will put on a performance to please the supporters.

“It’s important to enjoy a victory together and sing and cheer together,” said Sviatchenko, signed from Midtjylland in January.

“It’s our job to give the fans a performance but we have to be a unit. Everyone is together at Celtic so we’ll do our best to have a good game.

“It’s a good story that we will be facing Aberdeen at the weekend and if we get the result we want it’ll be a good one.”

Celtic have only won five titles in a row twice before in their 138-year history and the Danish defender is keen to match the record set by former managers Willie Maley and Jock Stein.

“To win five titles in a row is unbelievable and it’s not something that happens everywhere every day, so people cherish that achievement and it’s important to talk about it because it’s a big thing for the club,” Sviatchenko said.

“I came as a champion from Denmark and it’s a nice situation to have 11 months apart from winning the Danish championship and be close to the Scottish.

“I came here and said I wanted to win something and to be remembered for being part of a team that wins something, so quite quickly we have done that.”

Team-mate Leigh Griffiths says while the Celtic players have enjoyed watching unfancied Leicester City win the Premier League title in England they are keen that the same thing doesn’t happen in Scotland.

“That’s why football is the best sport in the world, but we don’t want any underdogs to win the league up here. We want it to be us,” the Scottish striker said.

“That’s the most important thing. Aberdeen ran us close again but, ultimately, we’re going to be champions at the end of the season.

“It’s all about team unity and our squad has a great team spirit. That’s what helps us through and that’s what wins championships in the end.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Hibernian host Raith Rovers at Easter Road in the second leg of their Premiership play-off quarter-final tie. The Edinburgh side must overcome a 1-0 deficit from the first leg if they are to keep their dreams of reaching the top flight alive.

Fixtures (1400 GMT unless otherwise stated)


Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Dundee United (1845 GMT)


Dundee v Hamilton Academical, Hearts v Ross County, Kilmarnock v Partick Thistle, Motherwell v St Johnstone

Premiership play-off quarter-final, second leg

Hibernian v Raith Rovers (1130 GMT — Raith lead 1-0 on aggregate)


Celtic v Aberdeen (1130 GMT)

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