Georgios Samaras has labelled Celtic’s upcoming clash with Falkirk as one of the most important of the season – because it starts off a hectic run of fixtures that will have a major bearing on the Hoops’ campaign.

Including the Bairns match on Saturday, January 16 and the next Glasgow derby on February 28, Tony Mowbray’s side could potentially play a total of 11 Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup games in the space of six weeks.

The recent postponements of the Kilmarnock and Morton ties have left Celtic facing a fixture pile-up and the Greek striker believes it’s vital to get off to a good start against Eddie May’s side next Saturday.

The game could also feature the first competitive game for Celtic's new South Korean Bhoy, Ki Sung-Yueng.

“January and February are going to be very difficult months for us,” Samaras told the Celtic website. “The Falkirk game marks the start of a tough period – between now and the next Rangers game we are playing constantly.

“I have played against Falkirk many times since coming to Celtic and it won’t be an easy game. The last time we played Falkirk we drew 3-3 and I think we all want to make up for that result.

“Falkirk worked hard that day, but it was one of our most disappointing performances of the season. Nothing seemed to go right for us, but we are all focused on getting three points this time.

“It will be our first home game since the Rangers match and we will be doing all we can to win. We are playing well just now and I’m confident we can get a positive result.”

Georgios Samaras