PREVIEW | Saints v Celtic
28th February 2020
The Scottish Cup takes centre stage once again this weekend as Saints welcome current holders Celtic to McDiarmid Park with a place in the Semi-Final at stake.
Saints knocked out Ayr Utd in the previous round while Celtic progressed comfortably against League One outfit Clyde.
That set up the last eight showdown with Tommy Wright hoping to get the better of his countryman Neil Lennon and end Celtic's domestic dominance which has seen them win the treble-treble over the previous three season.
It's a 3PM kick-off on Sunday afternoon and the game will be broadcast live on Premier Sports and Saints TV!
Murray Davidson remains sidelined with a fractured arm but the Manager has no fresh concerns ahead of the tie.
Jason Holt returns to the squad having been ineligible to face parent club Rangers last weekend in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
It's one-in-one-out however, as on-loan Celtic right-back Anthony Ralston is ineligible to play on Sunday and will miss out.
PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE
The Manager and David Wotherspoon spoke to the media at Thursday's pre-match press conference ahead of the match.
The Manager:"We can take a lot of positives from the Rangers game and indeed our form recently which has been excellent.
"You only have to look at the Rangers result against Braga in the week to see how good our point was on Sunday.
"That should give the players a lot of confidence but Celtic is a different game. They're playing excellent football and are the strongest team in the country at the moment.
"It's another challenge for my team but one we are ready to face head on this weekend.
"We know that if we win the game we're in a Cup Semi-Final so the excitement is building.
"Recently we've not been able to get results against Celtic but this is a one off game and anything can happen in Cup football.
"They're run in the domestic cups has been incredible but it has to come to an end at some point and hopefully it can be us to do it.
"We're only three wins away so who knows what could happen but right now the focus is solely on putting in our best possible performance against Celtic on Sunday."
David Wotherspoon:"We're all really excited. It's a good run we've been on and it's nice having a wee break from league duties and playing in the Scottish Cup.
"The boys have done really well recently. The performances have been good and we're picking up results.
"We're all going into the game full of confidence and we're looking forward to it. The Scottish Cup will always mean a lot and it's great to be in the last eight. Hopefully we can progress again.
"Winning the competition was massive for the Club and the players involved and we want that feeling again. I think every St. Johnstone fan and the people of Perth would love to see it happen.
"We know we're capable if we play well. We have to perform to our best because we know how good a side Celtic are.
"To win silverware you have to beat the best teams in Scotland and that's what we'll be looking to do on Sunday."
The McDiarmid Park Ticket Office will be open from 10AM-2PM on Saturday morning for those looking to purchase last minute tickets for Sunday's game.
Please note only Season Ticket holders or those on the Club's database will be able to buy tickets.
Prices for the match are as follows:
- Adults - £25
- Over 65s / 13 to 16-year-olds - £15
- 12-years-older and under - FREE (with a paying adult)
- *Ambulant Disabled Adult - £15
- *Ambulant Disabled Over 65s / 13 to 16-year-olds - £10
*If required, carer goes free.
There will be no online sales or matchday for this match. Away tickets are dealt with by Celtic FC directly.
Get your hands on an official matchday programme for just £2! Programmes will be available from sellers in all stands as well as from the Saints Shop pre-match.
This week's feature interview is with Stevie May who talks about reaching 100 career goals against Rangers last weekend and reflects on his impressive recent form.
The Muirton Suite is open from midday and again post-match for fans to enjoy refreshments. Home supporters only.
We'll have a selection of hot and cold food as well as a fully stocked bar!
McDiarmid Park prides itself in being a fully inclusive stadium and we have a range of benefits to help enhance the matchday experience of disabled supporters.
Click HERE to find out more, including info on our Sensory Packs, equipment for blind or partially sighted supporters, disabled parking and more.
The Saints Shop will be open pre-match and also post-match for supporters to pick up official St. Johnstone merchandise and souvenirs.
Celtic dominate the head-to-head record between the sides, winning 101 of the previous 150 meetings.
Saints have 25 wins and the fixture has ended all square on 24 occasions.
The last meeting between the clubs was just a few weeks ago when a fantastic first half performance by the Scottish champions resulted in a 0-3 win for Celtic at McDiarmid Park.
There have been a number of meetings between Saints and Celtic in the Scottish Cup, most recently last season when the eventual champions won comfortably 5-0 at Celtic Park.
The last home Scottish Cup clash against Celtic for Saints was way back in 1932 with the visitors winning 2-4 at Muirton Park. Jimmy Benson scored both Saints goals that day with one coming from the penalty spot.
The Club's one and only Scottish Cup victory to date against Celtic was four years later with a 2-1 away win in 1936.
It was another Jimmy who has the hero that day. Jimmy Beattie scored both Saints goals in an historic win at Celtic Park.
It's the latest stage the two sides have met in the competition since 2007, when Saints lost 2-1 to Celtic at Hampden Park.
The Club was then managed by Owen Coyle and competed in the second tier, putting on a brave display before eventually falling short against Gordon Strachan's side.
Martin Hardie levelled for Saints after Jan Venegoor of Hesselink put Celtic ahead from the spot. The Dutch striker added a second after 57 minutes sending Strachan's men to the Final which they went on to win against Dunfermline Athletic 1-0.
Not making the game? Saints TV has you covered!
We have live video coverage for our overseas subscribers and live audio coverage for those in the UK/Ireland.