Celtic

V

Celtic Park

18/02/2018 | 3:00 pm

St Johnstone

V

Celtic Park

18/02/2018 | 3:00 pm

In a sentence:  Brendan Rodgers will be keen to get back to winning ways in the league after losing to Kilmarnock in their last Scottish Premiership outing and dampen any threat from those below, while St Johnstone are targeting ending a run of four league defeats with the biggest of scalps as they look to keep away from the bottom two.

Last time: St Johnstone came away from Celtic Park with a point when the two met earlier in the season on a warm August afternoon. Steven MacLean put the Saints ahead before Callum McGregor struck the equaliser in the 79th minute for the Hoops.

This time: Celtic are 1/6 to win with St Johnstone at 12/1 and the draw 13/2.

You might remember: During the 2014/15 season, the Saints claimed only a second win at Celtic Park this century thanks to a solitary second half strike from Danny Swanson. In fact, that win is one of only four St Johnstone have enjoyed over the Bhoys this decade.

Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Celtic’s famous stadium, Celtic Park, will host this Scottish Premiership encounter

Celtic may be unable to go through a second season unbeaten but they are still clear at the top and destined for a 49th Scottish League title. However, defeat last time out in the league to Kilmarnock has reminded Brendan Rodgers and his team that they will not always have it their own way. St Johnstone need to take advantage of Celtic’s European commitments if they are to halt their four-match losing streak as the bottom two look to close the gap.

Celtic are 1/6 and the truth is such a short price offers little value unless formed as part of an accumulator. The Bhoys have won eight of the last 10 meetings between the two and look set to dominate once again.

St Johnstone are 12/1 to win and such large odds could make them backable. Compared to other sides, the Saints’ record at Celtic Park is not too bad having recorded two wins and two draws since August 2011 on Celtic turf. However, it would be a long shot as St Johnstone are on a miserable run of form having failed to pick up a single point this year.

The draw is 13/2 and the Saints will no doubt target this as their only hope of securing a happy trip home. They have already done it once this season drawing 1-1 in August, although that was one of only two away draws all season for the Saints.

Both teams to score is 11/8 and that is some real value. Only once in the Saints’ last six trips to Celtic Park have they failed to score and despite not having scored a goal in February yet, it appears that Tommy Wright’s men perform when playing on the grandest of stages.

Scott Sinclair to score anytime is 21/20 and the Celtic man is on fine form this season with nine goals making him the Hoops’ top league scorer so far this campaign. He was also substituted in the Europa League match against Zenit St Petersburg on Thursday night most likely so he is fully fit to fire on Sunday.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

A late goal. In three of the last four meetings between the two, a goal has been scored later than 75 minutes making for last gasp action. For a goal to be scored after 76 minutes is 5/6 and with the expectation of plenty of goals, that looks a good piece of value.

2

We fancy:

Celtic to win and both teams to score is 2/1 and that looks a winner. The Saints may be in a slump but a trip to Celtic Park is just the tonic they need to finally find the back of the net this month. However, it will not quite be enough to stop the Bhoys marching to another three points.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

St Johnstone to repeat their 1-0 win at Celtic Park in 2015 is 28/1. There is little to suggest that may be the case but stranger things have happened in football and the Saints have previous.

Written by Ian Waterhouse

Ian Waterhouse is a sports, fitness and betting writer with extensive experience in all sectors of the gambling industry. When he’s not trawling through the odds, you’ll probably find Ian on the golf course – probably the bunker!