Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Celtic welcome Motherwell to the East End of Glasgow on Sunday, with Neil Lennon’s Bhoys desperate for a victory to lift them out of their current rut. The Hoops were knocked out of the Champions League in midweek, and are currently a long way behind Rangers in the Scottish Premiership table. Motherwell are poor form themselves, though, and have a terrible recent record against Celtic. Read on to see where the best betting value can be found in what looks like an interesting Scottish Premiership fixture.
Celtic gaffer Neil Lennon read the Riot Act to his players this week, after they were defeated 2-1 at home by Ferencvaros, ending their hopes of playing Champions League football this season. That is a financial disaster for the Bhoys, who will have missed out on around £30 million, which puts many of their transfer plans in jeopardy. Domestic results have not been great either, and the club has had to deal with Covid-19 regulation breaches within the squad too. The episode involving Boli Bolingoli meant that key games have been postponed and the Celts are now down in fourth place with seven points. Rangers are top with 13, though the Hoops have two games in hand.
Motherwell haven’t beaten Celtic in their last 17 games against the Bhoys. Stephen Robinson’s Steelmen currently sit in 10th place in the league table, on two points. Only goal difference is currently keeping the Lanarkshire side off the bottom. They are yet to win this season, having lost their opening two games of the season 1-0. They improved after that with draws at home to Livingston and away at Hibernian, but crashed to a 1-0 home defeat to Hamilton Academical in their last outing. David Turnbull looks to be on his way to Celtic soon too, a transfer saga which casts a significant shadow over this fixture.
Celtic haven’t lost to Motherwell since 2015, and in the 17 meetings since then, the Hoops have scored 18 goals and conceded just three. That gives you a pretty good indication of the size of the task facing Robinson’s men this weekend in Glasgow. The Steelmen have also had problems finding the opposition net this season. ‘Well have managed just two goals so far in the current campaign, and both of those came in the 2-2 draw at home to Livingston on August 12.
One thing there won’t be at Celtic Park this weekend is any fans. A proposal to allow 1,400 fans into the ground was this week rejected by the Scottish Government. A tentative date of September 14 has been set by the Scottish Government for fans to be back in grounds in the Scottish Premiership.
Celtic boss Lennon was angry with his team over the poor performance that led to their exit from the Champions League. The Ulsterman felt that his side had enough chances to win the game, and he blasted their attitude in his post-match comments, hinting that some players were no longer entirely committed to the Celtic cause. There have also been rumours of significant dressing room dissension at Parkhead, with Lennon also apparently not that popular with his squad at the moment. Lennon said: “The players need to buckle up. They’ve been OK but some of their attitudes need to be better. I’m just detecting a bit of malaise sometimes among them and they’re not as good as what they think they are.”
That kind of rocket might inspire the players to start performing, but it could also send things the other way. If the reports of dressing room problems are true, then Lennon could be on borrowed time. Players like Scott Brown have looked well below par this season, and off-field Covid-19 related issues have also meant that Celtic have endured a rocky start to the current campaign. That might just give the visiting Steelmen some hope. But being realistic, hope might be all that Motherwell have going into this fixture, given their record against the Bhoys. ‘Well will also face Northern Irish side Glentoran in the Europa League ahead of the clash with Celtic.
Our prediction for this game is that Celtic will win by two clear goals, but will probably have to work hard. We think a scoreline of 3-1 looks likely. Motherwell may well exploit some of the current tension around the Celtic dressing room early on and take a lead. In the end, though, professional pride and Celtic’s greater quality will kick in to produce a win for the home side. Our recommended tip comes from William Hill. They are offering odds of 9/4 on the Celts to win and both teams to score.