After several months away due to COVID-19, the Scottish Premiership finally returned last weekend to the delight of football fans north of the border. Matchday Two is now upon us and one of the highlights is champions Celtic taking on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday. The Hoops are going for a tenth straight title and cannot afford any slip ups against this calibre of opposition. Our team of betting experts have analysed the stats, formbook and historical head-to-head record to give you the best chance of securing a win this weekend.
Last season was hugely disappointing for Kilmarnock. After defying the odds to secure third place during the 2018/2019 campaign their form regressed badly last term with the club eventually finishing eighth, well adrift of the European qualification places. Their biggest issue was conceding too many goals which does not bode well for a meeting with the free-scoring champions. Their poor defence again reared its ugly head against Hiberian last time out as they conceded two soft goals. The back four will need to improve to stem the champions’ attack. Up top, they look stronger with Nicke Kambamba and Eamonn Brophy both reliable striking options.
Celtic secured an incredible ninth straight Socttish top flight title last campaign, meaning a tenth straight SPFL crown is within their sights this season. Looking through the Hoops starting XI, it is hard to find any weaknesses as Hamilton found out last weekend. Celtic put the Accies to the sword 5-1 with full-backs Jeremie Frimpong and Greg Taylor running the opposition ragged. Then there’s their forward line – by far the most fearsome in all of Scotland. Spearheading it all is Odsonne Edouard – who helped himself to a hat trick on Saturday – while Mohamed Elyounoussi and James Forrest provide goals and trickery from the wide areas.
It will not shock you to learn that Celtic have enjoyed near total dominance over this fixture in the past. Overall, the two sides have met 239 times in all competitions with the Hoops winning 162 games and Kilmarnock winning just 30. 47 matches have ended all square.
This trend has been echoed in recent meetings, with Celtic often subjecting Killie to some humiliating defeats. Each of the last three matches between the two teams have finished 3-1 to the Old Firm giants and their winning margin has been even higher on other occasions. Most notably, Celtic romped to a 5-1 win in December 2018, while a 6-1 victory back in September 2016 also left Killie reeling.
That’s not to say that Kilmarnock have no hope at all on Sunday. They managed to defeat Celtic 2-1 in September 2018 but they did have to rely on a 93rd winner in order to do so. The 0-0 draw they managed to secure later on in that same season will offer similar encouragement. However, it will take a minor miracle to keep another clean sheet this weekend, considering Celtic have only failed to score twice in their last 16 meetings.
By far the most talented and coveted player in all of Scottish football, Odsonne Edouard has been attracting significant English Premier League interest of late. Linking back up with former Bhoys manager Brendan Rodgers at Leicester could be an option but Arsenal and Manchester United are also circling. In order to impress his potential new employers Edouard will be in the mood for goals as the season gets going.
He already showed against Hamilton that the razor sharp striker’s instinct that got him the Golden Boot and 22 goals last campaign has not been blunted by an extended break from football. Against the Accies he produced three excellent poacher’s finishes. You should expect more of the same on Sunday as well. With that in mind, Unibet’s generous odds of 3.50 that Edouard will score first at Rugby Park should be seriously considered. The Frenchman is an absolute goal machine.
Our betting tip today is Celtic to win + over 4.5 goals. The Hoops have a ridiculously good record against Killie and after putting them to the sword 3-1 in the last three fixtures, we expect Neil Lennon’s side to do even better than time out with their opponents on a terrible run of form. Add to that the fact that Celtic’s frontline are currently firing on all cylinders and it is impossible to look past them winning comfortably at Rugby Park this weekend. Our chosen double is currently being offered at a generous 5.75 by BetVictor.