Wednesday's Scottish Gossip: Fixture headache, Celtic, Zenit, Rangers, Watt

Football gossip

FOOTBALL GOSSIP

The SPFL faces a post-split fixture headache if the top six remains the same. Rangers will have played all five of their rivals in the top half of the Premiership twice at Ibrox this season. Graeme Murty's side will be due two home games after the split, which could force two teams to make a third trip to Ibrox. (Daily Record)

Zenit St Petersburg have closed the Krestovsky Stadium roof to guard against a blizzard and temperatures of -10C ahead of their Europa League second leg match against Celtic. Russian keeper Andrey Lunev has warned Celtic they will be "under our cloak this time". (Scottish Sun)

Graeme Murty has urged Greg Docherty to chill out if he wants to make it as a Rangers player. Murty believes Docherty, given his first start league start for Rangers in the victory against Hamilton Accies, tried to do too much. (Scottish Sun)

Progressing in the Europa League at Zenit St Petersburg's expense would be "a really big achievement for all of us," says Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham. "The manager [Brendan Rodgers] has said that there is growth in the team and I think that is true." (The Herald)

Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham in action against Zenit St Petersburg
Olivier Ntcham aims to help Celtic overcome Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League

Former Celtic striker Tony Watt, without a club after leaving Belgian First Division B outfit Oud-Heverlee Leuven, has trained with Aberdeen. Watt won't be able to sign for a new club until the summer but says Dons boss Derek McInnes was interested in signing him when he left Celtic. (Scottish Sun)

Pundit Pat Nevin isn't surprised his former Chelsea and Scotland team-mate Steve Clarke has put himself in contention for manager of the year - considering the job he has done at Kilmarnock. (Scottish Sun, print edition)

Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald has urged Scotland manager Alex McLeish to give him a chance to shine for the national side. The former Dundee star says: "I've been playing at a good level in the Championship for years and never been given the chance to play in the national team." (Daily Record, print edition)

Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi insists Brendan Rodgers' side won't crack under the pressure at the Krestovsky Stadium against Zenit St Petersburg. "I have played in St Petersburg. It's a good stadium with one of the best atmospheres in Russia. But I would not say it is difficult for us to go there." (Daily Record)

Rangers winger Jamie Murphy
Craig Brown has been impressed by Jamie Murphy this season

Celtic will approach the second leg of their Europa League tie against Zenit in exactly the same way as the first: "football supported by martial arts," according to Russian legend Anatoliy Byshovets. (The Herald, print edition)

Lazio are preparing to rekindle their interest in Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic. The Serie A outfit are searching for a replacement for Netherlands international Stefan de Vrij, who is expected to leave the club in the summer. (Daily Express, print edition)

Former Motherwell boss Craig Brown isn't surprised to see winger Jamie Murphy impress for Rangers this season. "He was outstanding for me at Motherwell," says Brown. "He is deceptively quick and he knows how to finish." (Daily Mail, print edition)

OTHER GOSSIP

Scotland's rugby players are aiming to match one of the nation's most famous sporting achievements - when Scotland's footballers beat an England side in 1967 labelled the "best in the world" - when they lock horns in the Calcutta Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday. (The Herald, print edition)

"I'll be back in Beijing," says Elise Christie after the Scot's medal hopes were dashed at the Winter Olympics. "For all the success I've had, I can't let this define me." (The National)

Top Stories