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No Stokes for Celtic as Partick trip looms

Anthony Stokes looks certain to miss Celtic's trip to Partick Thistle on New Year's Day.

The born-again midfielder lasted just six minutes of Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Ross County with a calf injury ending his involvement.

Stokes hobbling round the touchline set the tone for a depressing afternoon for the home supporters with his replacement, Callum McGregor, substituted by Kris Commons midway through the second half as Celtic pushed in vain for a goal.

With Aberdeen winning 1-0 away to Inverness Caley Thistle yesterday Celtic's lead at the top of the SPFL has been cut down to just two points with the Dons at home to St Johnstone on Thursday before Ronny Deila's side kick-off across Glasgow at Partick.

Deila should find out the extent of Stokes' injury later today with his goal threat badly needed as Celtic struggle in front of goal.

After the trip to Partick Celtic have one more match, away to Kilmarnock on January 5, before heading to Gran Canaria for a week of training which includes games against PSV Eindhoven and Sparta Prague.

As well as Stokes Celtic are currently without the injured trio of Charlie Mulgrew, Mikael Lustig and Jason Denayer.

Leigh Griffiths (pictured) hopes boss Ronny Deila keeps faith with him when Celtic travel to Partick Thistle on New Year's Day.

The 24-year-old striker's contributions this season have come mostly from the bench and his start against Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday was his first in the league since August.

"I'm confident all the strikers can score goals - myself, John, Stefan (Scepovic) or Kris (Commons) if he plays up there," said Griffiths. "We'll all score goals at times but it's about getting that run in the side and hopefully I've done enough to get a start on Thursday as well.

"The manager spoke to me after training and said I'd be starting against County. If he has a word in my ear again and says I've done enough for Thursday I'll be delighted."