Scottish Premier League
Celtic v Dundee United
Celtic have turned this around in the space of a few weeks in the SPL and will be eager to continue their excellent run of form at the expense of Dundee United tomorrow.
After trailing rivals Rangers by 15 points at one point during October, Neil Lennon’s men have put together a run of form which as seen them win 10 straight league games, thus not only closing the gap on the league leaders, but actually overtaking them. It’s a remarkable turnaround but it does pay to note that they have most of their star players available to them again. With just one home defeat all season, and having dropped just a further couple of points outside of that defeat, visiting teams know they are up against it travelling to Celtic Park – especially with the form the Bhoys are in. With just three goals conceded in their 11 games, they have a much improved defence compared to earlier in the season.
Dundee United are also enjoying a decent spell in recent weeks. Peter Houston’s men started the season in a very inconsistent fashion which was not a big surprise considering they lost key personnel over the summer including Craig Conway to Cardiff and David Goodwillie to Blackburn Rovers. Outside of the games against the Old Firm, the Arabs have lost only to Aberdeen in a game where they actually took the league. Their most recent match was against Airdrie in the Scottish Cup where they ran out comfortable winners in a 6-2 win. That game, although against inferior opposition, will have boosted the confidence of their striker Johnny Russell who bagged a hat-trick. He will make the journey West tomorrow with immense enthusiasm at a ground where he’s already scored this season.
Celtic will be without key midfielder Beram Kayal for the rest of the season after he found out he will require surgery for an injury picked up against Rangers in December. He will be a loss but the emergence of Victor Wanyama this season will soften the blow a little. Going forward, Gary Hooper missed last week’s routine 3-0 win over Peterhead in the cup but is likely to return tomorrow to take his place upfront.
Dundee United have a deplorable record against Celtic that they will need to put right if they are to take anything tomorrow but the games are often entertaining. The last seven games between the two have produced 22 goals. However on their last to visits to Celtic Park, United have lost 4-1 and 5-1.
Take Celtic to win by more than one goal tomorrow as they have ran out comfortable winners the last twice United have came visiting.
My Selection: Celtic (-1) to beat Dundee United
Best odds available: 4/5 available with Blue Square