Celtic welcome Motherwell to Parkhead on Wednesday evening, looking to get back to winning ways after a shocking 2-0 defeat away at Hibernian on Sunday lunchtime. That defeat followed hard on the heels of a defeat to RB Salzburg in the Europa League last Thursday. It has not been an easy few days for Brendan Rodgers and his men, especially with star striker Leigh Griffiths currently unavailable due to personal issues.
That is a double edged sword for Motherwell. While Steve Robinson’s Steelmen will surely be cheered by the way that the Hoops have been humbled in their last two games, they will also be wary of a Bhoys backlash. A recent 1-1 draw between the teams at Fir Park should give the away side more encouragement. The Lanarkshire side also won 2-1 away at St Johnstone at the weekend, which should help raise confidence levels further.
Celtic vs Motherwell Prediction: Celtic 1-0 Motherwell
Our prediction for the outcome of this game is that Celtic will win narrowly, with 1-0 looking to be a likely final score. The Celts have endured a couple of setbacks in their last two games, and confidence is sure to be low. Rodgers may well be tempted to rotate his team selection in a bid to give his side a little fresh impetus. Motherwell will take heart from their last game against the Celts, when a late equaliser gave them a valuable point. This match looks like being hard work for the home side, but they should scrape home.
Our recommended tip: Celtic 1-0
Our featured tip for this game comes from William Hill, who are offering odds of 5/1 on Celtic winning the game 1-0. This bet matches perfectly with our prediction for how the game will turn out, and the odds offer decent value too. Celtic have lost their last two games in all competitions, and also recently drew with Motherwell. Their confidence is likely to be somewhat low. Home advantage always plays a part when it comes to the Old Firm, though, and we feel that Celtic are still likely to win the game, albeit narrowly.
These two sides have met very recently, playing each other in the Scottish Premiership at Fir Park on December 5. Motherwell managed to hold the Celts to a 1-1 draw in that game, a result which will have given their gaffer Steve Robinson a considerable amount of satisfaction. What will concern the Celts is the way that they did not manage to kill off the Lanarkshire side after going a goal up early on. Ryan Christie put the Hoops into a 1-0 lead after just 13 minutes. The Celts couldn’t add a second, and Danny Johnson equalised in the 88th minute.
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Players to watch: James Forrest & Danny Johnson
If Celtic are to get back to winning ways this week, they need experienced players like winger James Forrest to step up. Forrest has been in good form this season, with his performances for Scotland as well as his club catching the eye. No one played well for the Celts on Sunday lunchtime at Hibs in defeat, and Celtic will need Forrest’s pace, creativity and eye for goal if they are to beat Motherwell.
Motherwell forward Danny Johnson has been in good form this season, having netted eight goals from 21 appearances in all competitions. One of those goals was his team’s late equaliser in the recent clash with Celtic at Fir Park, and he will be hoping to make another significant contribution on Wednesday evening. The Englishman scored what turned out to be the winning goal for the Steelmen at the weekend against St Johnstone.