Celtic will be aiming to keep the two-point advantage at the top when they play host to high-flying Hibernian, with Bhoys looking to cement the first place in the standings before the play-offs start. Hibs, on the other hand, are hoping to continue their seven-match unbeaten run but that is certainly easier said than done.
Celtic in for a hectic schedule
It will have been more than 15 days since Celtic last played a competitive game when they host Hibernian, but the Bhoys will soon be in for a hectic period with games coming up every two or three days. Celtic’s weekend game with Inverness was called off, meaning the team had enough time to prepare for this very important match that they simply have to win. Neil Lennon’s side have been playing pretty well this season, but they lost the League Cup final to Rangers last time out and will now be looking to make amends for the extra time defeat. The Bhoys have stabilized their form of late and they have been putting in some decent performances, so I have reason to believe the good run will continue against indifferent Hibernian. With Ledley, Ki and Brown orchestrating play from midfield, the hosts should have no problems taking control of the game.
Freddie Ljungberg should be in contention, while Shaun Maloney is unlikely to feature despite resuming full training following an ankle injury.
Hibernian showing massive improvement
Hibernian had spent a big part of the Scottish Premier League campaign very close to the bottom of the standings before they embarked on a great run of results that saw them leave the danger zone and climb back to safety. Following the five-match winning run, the Hibs have shown some weaknesses in games against St Johnstone and Hearts, but they are now completely safe and have no worries on their minds. The team enter the game high on confidence despite failing to win the derby game against Hearts and it is highly unlikely that Hibs will adopt a defensive approach at Celtic Park since they have nothing to lose in the first place. Having scored in every one of their last seven games, Hibernian will be looking to continue the run in Glasgow and that doesn’t look like an impossible task.
Danny Galbraith, Kevin McCann and Graham Stack are out through injuries, while Steven Thicot remains a doubt.
Celtic are hot favourites to win this match as they are very motivated to make amends for the League Cup final defeat to Rangers, but odds on home win are simply pathetic. This is why my advice is to back both teams to score, since Hibernian are high on confidence and have been in good scoring form lately.
Our prediction: Both teams to score
Odds: 1.91 (10/11)