St Johnstone suffer training ground blow just days before crucial Celtic semi-final

By David Walton

November 16, 2021

St Johnstone have suffered an absolute training ground disaster in the build-up to Saturday’s game against Celtic at Hampden.

With only 4 days until the sides meet in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final, Callum Davidson has confirmed that top striker Stevie May will be out of action until Christmas. This is due to a knee ligament injury picked up in training this week.

This will likely mean that Chris Kane will have to lead the line. Rangers loanee Glenn Middleton can also be deployed as a makeshift forward if necessary.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But there’s no denying it’s an absolute dagger to the heart of the St Johnstone attack given the energy May brings to the table. Speaking to the Courier, Davidson said the following on the injury:

“Stevie has tweaked his knee ligament so has been for a scan and will be out until Christmas time. It’s a blow for us because he’s a key player in an important area of the team and we’ll miss him a lot.

“Obviously with his history, it was a scare and Stevie was fearing the worst. But thankfully the results have come back not as bad as we first thought so hopefully he can heal pretty quickly.

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“We have struggled with defenders being injured so we were hoping to start getting a bit of luck.”

St Johnstone will lose a lot against Celtic with May sidelined

May’s record against Celtic hardly makes for great reading. One win and one goal out of a possible 19 meetings. In addition to that, 15 of the matches he’s played against us have ended in defeat [Transfermarkt].

However, it’s not the goal record that would’ve had Celtic centre-backs keeping a close eye on May for. It’s his tenacity and his his energy in the final third.

May has the ability to be a real pest for defenders in Scotland. Constantly harrying them and throwing himself into challenges, he would’ve posed a strong physical challenge for the Celtic centre-backs. Granted, it’s still one you would’ve backed us to pass in any case.

Photo by Roddy Scott/SNS Group via Getty Images

Even so, St Johnstone will lose a power of work and a lot of running with May sidelined. Whilst Kane himself is a hard worker, he doesn’t possess that same level of energy that May brings to the table. The former Aberdeen forward looked primed to start against the Hoops this weekend.

Instead, Davidson is going to have to pull off a masterstroke to overcome the in-form Hoops with minimal options in the final third. Not an ideal situation for him by any stretch.

Ange Postecoglou’s side won’t be taking anything for granted, but with Hampden set to be packed out with Celtic supporters on Saturday, it’s difficult to see anything other than a comfortable Hoops win.

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