Celtic looking forward to winter rest

Celtic midfielder Scott Brown is confident his side can continue their winning run as they prepare to take on Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday and then look ahead to enjoying the winter break.

The Hoops defeated Dundee in midweek to make it five wins in a row and move seven points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

Neil Lennon's side have two more SPL games before the winter break and Brown knows it's coming at a good time for the Parkhead stars as they battle on the domestic and European front.

First up for Celtic are Brown's former club Hibs, who held the leaders to a draw at Parkhead in September.

And the midfielder is hoping for a warm reception at his former stomping ground.

"The rest will be more than welcome. It will do me good and that will be the same for some other players as we have a few niggles here and there," the Scotland international said.

"In the meantime we just want to continue playing as that's five wins on the spin now.

"We have two big games coming up before the break, Hibs away and then Motherwell at home. We know they're going to be hard games but we're looking forward to them. It would nice to be cheered going back to Easter Road at the weekend but we'll need to see what happens."

Celtic were made to work hard for the points on Wednesday but Brown insisted it was a job well done against a Dundee side battling against the drop.

"We're starting to get up a bit of momentum," the Celtic captain said.

"It wasn't the best performance but it's another good result and that's the main thing."

The Hoops will be without Kris Commons for the clash due to injury while defender Charlie Mulgrew will be assessed after having to be withdrawn early from the game against Dundee after picking up a rib injury.

After a solid start to the season Celtic's opponents haven't won any of their past four league encounters.

Pat Fenlon's side now have a big week coming up with games against Celtic before travelling across Edinburgh to take on fierce rivals Hearts next Thursday.

And the Hibernian manager is confident he won't have to motivate his players for the important clashes.

"Celtic at home and Hearts away are massive games, but they're great games to look forward to," Fenlon said.

"We shouldn't have to worry about getting people up for the next two. We feel we're capable of getting something out of both games.

"Retention of the ball against a team like Celtic is really important, your concentration levels have to be really high as well because they've got players in all positions that can cause you problems."

Elsewhere on Saturday, bottom of the table Dundee host Aberdeen at Dens Park, Motherwell welcome Kilmarnock to Fir Park, Hearts are away to Ross County and St Johnstone face second-placed Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Dundee United take on St Mirren on Sunday.

Saturday

Dundee v Aberdeen, Hibernian v Celtic, Motherwell v Kilmarnock, Ross County v Hearts, St Johnstone v Inverness CT

Sunday

Dundee United v St Mirren

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