Verdict: Goal after 75:59
Best Odds: 5/6
In desperate need of an immediate response after their shock European defeat earlier in the week, Celtic will host Motherwell in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, opening the new Scottish Premiership campaign with unwanted off-field issues and already sat six points adrift of their Old Firm rivals heading into September, Celtic’s inconsistencies were really on display in midweek. Despite being seen as a landslide pick to cruise past Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros while on Champions League qualifying duties earlier in the week, Neil Lennon’s side were hit with an extremely worrying 2-1 defeat in Glasgow and have come under rather serious scrutiny. Demanding an immediate response after what was a scathing post-match reaction, the defending Scottish champions have also struggled to find top-form over the summer. Leaving it late to snatch a hard-fought 1-0 win away at top-flight returners Dundee United last weekend, they also dropped a pair of points as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Rugby Park earlier in the month. Although stern changes are expected to come at Celtic Park over the coming months, the Hoops should take some solace by what is a dominant home record while on domestic duties. Opening the new campaign with a 5-1 win against Hamilton in Glasgow, they have collected 51 points over their last 18 Premiership contests on home soil.
After missing out on their Champions League horror-show in midweek, Celtic have confirmed that attacking talisman Odsonne Edouard will once again miss out due to a thigh problem.
As for the visitors, while they might have struggled for large spells of the first-half in midweek and certainly helped by Northern Irish outfit Glentoran being handed a straight red, Motherwell managed to extend on their Europa League qualifying campaign and will be desperate to use that result as a launchpad. Eventually picking up a 5-1 win at Fir Park, Head Coach Stephen Robinson now simply has his sights set on the Steelmen landing a much-needed first domestic victory of the new campaign this weekend. Facing what should be an unenviable trip to Celtic Park on Sunday afternoon, Motherwell were last seen on Premiership duties getting hit with a last-gasp worrying 1-0 defeat at home against last year’s relegation scrappers Hamilton. One of just three top-flight sides that are yet to pick up maximum points as we inch closer to September, they also opened the New Year with back-to-back 1-0 losses against Premiership returners Ross County and Dundee United earlier in the month. It is also worth highlighting that carrying on from last season’s interrupted campaign, Motherwell have failed to win any of their last six contests on the road.
Motherwell goalkeeper Scott Fox is out of action until 2021 due to injury concerns, while Nathan McGinley, Charles Dunne, and Jake Carroll are also on the sidelines.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides last faced off back in February, Celtic picked up a thumping 4-0 win.
- In fact, Sunday’s hosts have won each of their last five meetings against Motherwell.
- The Steelmen are one of just three Premiership sides who are yet to record maximum points this season, collecting two points out of a possible 15.
- Celtic have collected 51 points over their last 18 Premiership contests on home soil.
- Four of the last five meetings between the two sides have seen over 2.5 goals by full-time.
While Celtic’s preparations could not have gone worse as they were hit with an extremely worrying 2-1 defeat at home against Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros while on Champions League qualifying duties earlier in the week, they should be too strong for Motherwell this weekend. Holding a rampant record against a Steelmen side that are yet to record maximum points since opening the new campaign, the two sides also have a reputation for producing high-scoring encounters. You might be interested to know that six goals have been scored in the final quarter of an hour in the last four meetings between Sunday’s opponents and we’re backing a similar outcome in Glasgow this weekend.
Verdict: Goal after 75:59
Best Odds: 5/6
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