Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Brendan Rodgers and his Celtic team make the short journey from Glasgow to Paisley this Friday evening to take on St Mirren. The Saints recently parted company with English manager Alan Stubbs, replacing him with Oran Kearney earlier this week. That means both managers are from Northern Ireland, with Kearney having steered Coleraine to Irish Cup glory last season in Ulster.
Of course, the Scottish Premiership is a much higher level than the domestic competitions in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, the Buddies are sure to receive something of a boost from Kearney’s appointment, and the St Mirren players will be keen to impress their new boss. Celtic’s main enemy in this game will be complacency, and the Hoops must avoid falling into the trap of simply believing that they need to just show up to win the game. If they avoid complacency, it should be a straightforward win for the Hoops.
St Mirren vs Celtic Prediction: St Mirren 0-2 Celtic
Our prediction for this game is that Celtic will win by at least two goals. St Mirren have been in dreadful form so far this season, having collected just three points from their four league games. Those three points came from a home win over bottom-placed Dundee on the opening day of the season. Celtic, in contrast, have reached the group stage of the Europa League, and head into this game having beaten Rangers last time out. The Saints will need a pretty heroic performance just to keep the score down to reasonable levels, at least on paper.
Our recommended tip: Celtic to win 2-0
Our featured tip for this game comes courtesy of Paddy Power, where you can get odds of 9/2 on Celtic winning this game 2-0. The scoreline looks like being a likely outcome. Celtic are much stronger, at least on paper, than St Mirren. The Buddies, though, are at home, and have a new manager in place to impress. They are likely to work hard and frustrate Celtic for the first hour or so, before the away team’s better quality and fitness take their toll on the Buddies, and the Hoops score twice late on to seal the win.
The last time these two sides met in the top flight was in 2014/15. They played each other three times in the league that season, with Celtic winning all three. Two of the games were in Paisley. Celtic scored 10 goals in those three games, and St Mirren scored two – a sign of how dominant the Bhoys were in those matches. The most recent meeting between the teams was in March 2017, in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup. Celtic were dominant that day at Parkhead, winning 4-1, after going down 1-0 in the 13th minute of the match.
Top 3 SPL Bookies
Players to watch: Anton Ferdinand & Callum McGregor
Anton Ferdinand has been training with St Mirren this week, and could be in line to make his debut for the club on Friday evening at the Simple Digital Arena. The 33-year-old has plenty of experience on which St Mirren can draw, having played for QPR, West Ham and Sunderland in his career. His last club was Southend United. Oran Kearney sees Ferdinand as the kind of experienced, calm defender the Buddies desperately need right now.
Callum McGregor will return to domestic action after playing in both of Scotland’s internationals this week. After the 4-0 chasing by Belgium in a friendly, the Scots recovered, with McGregor in the team, to beat Albania 2-0 in the Nations League. McGregor is a livewire attacking midfielder who knows how to find space in and around the opposition penalty area. St Mirren’s defence will need to keep a close eye on him.