Celtic return to domestic action this Sunday, facing Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership at Parkhead. A late Leigh Griffiths goal secured a 1-0 win for the Celts against Rosenborg in the Europa League group stages this week, and Brendan Rodgers will be keen for his team to build on that, and begin to put some domestic momentum together. Seeing Hearts at the top of the league will pain every Celtic fan right now, the team need points.
Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock team have endured some tough defeats in recent weeks, but have also beaten Aberdeen at Pittordrie, showing that they can win challenging games when they need to. Getting a result against the Old Firm is never easy, but Clarke will be hoping that Celtic suffer from a European hangover on Sunday afternoon.
Celtic vs Kilmarnock Prediction: Celtic 1-0 Kilmarnock
This game will not be easy for Celtic, but we expect them to win a close game 1-0. Leigh Griffiths scored an important winning goal against Rosenborg in midweek, and it will be interesting to see if the Scotland striker is handed a starting role by Rodgers. The Bhoys boss is likely to rotate his squad, in an attempt to keep players fresh.
Psychologically, it is hard for teams to beat Celtic, who have exerted such a strong grip over the Scottish game in recent seasons. Killie may push the Hoops hard, but it is Celtic who we expect to win, narrowly.
Our recommended tip: Celtic win 1-0
We think that backing Celtic to win 1-0 is a good idea this weekend. The Glasgow giants are never an easy team to beat. They may well feel some fatigue after their exertions in Europe earlier this week, but they have plenty of depth and quality in their squad on which they can rely to turn tight games in their favour. Backing Leigh Griffiths to score would also be a good idea. The Scotland international feels he has a point to prove to his manager at the moment, which makes him a real danger to the Killie defence.
These two sides faced each other on five occasions in 2017/18, once in the League Cup and four times in the league. Celtic won the second round League Cup tie 5-0. Two league games were at Rugby Park. Celtic won the first 2-0, and Killie the second 1-0. Both games at Celtic Park last season ended in draws. The first was 1-1, and the second, which came after the season split, ended 0-0. Killie therefore have a good recent record in the Scottish Premiership when it comes to facing the Hoops, which should give them some confidence this weekend.
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Players to watch: Leigh Griffiths & Eamonn Brophy
Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths was in court for driving offences this week, and his manager told the media that the player needs to buck up his ideas if he wants to be remembered as a truly great player. Griffiths always seems to be a more dangerous forward when feels he has a point to prove, and that makes him a player for Killie to fear this weekend. He offers plenty of threat from free kicks.
Killie striker Eamonn Brophy has displaced club legend Kris Boyd as his club’s mains striker this season, a sign of the good form that he has been in. He has netted twice in five games so in the league in 2018/19, and was on target in the 3-2 defeat to Hibernian last weekend. Originally from Glasgow, he spent part of his youth career at Celtic, so will be keen to score against the Hoops.