Kilmarnock v Celtic Betting Tip Under 2.5 goals – 17 February 2019

Defences likely to be on top at Rugby Park

Scottish Premiership Betting Tips

ScotlandKilmarnock v CelticScotland
Sunday 17th February 1600hrs 
Football – Scotland – Premiership
Pick Under 2.5 goals
Bookmaker Sportingbet
Odds: 10/11 (odds taken 12.30 GMT, Saturday 16th February)

It was disappointment for Celtic in Europe in midweek and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they look to maintain their lead at the top of the league, but they always find it difficult at Rugby Park and Kilmarnock will be well up for this.

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Kilmarnock Preview

Kilmarnock have been excellent in the time Steve Clarke’s been manager at the club and they are level on points with Aberdeen in third spot at the time of writing, heading into another top of the table clash on Sunday. There have been occasions where Killie have been top of the table and were second as recent as last month which is testament to their consistency under Clarke. The biggest compliment you can pay to the club these days is that teams do not relish playing them, particularly at Rugby Park. It’s a venue they have already defeated both Celtic and Rangers at this season so there will be plenty of belief heading into the weekend’s game as the champions come to visit once again. The 2-1 win back in September was their second in a row at home against Celtic and they know how to make life difficult on their much- criticised plastic pitch. This game comes in the middle of a Scottish Cup tie against the other half of Glasgow who they are due to face once again on Wednesday in a replay having drawn 0-0 last Saturday. It’s a hectic period as a result but the Ayrshire club have shown time and time again under this manager that they do not lack for desire or character and will be looking forward to the challenges coming their way.

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Key-Facts – Kilmarnock v Celtic

  • Kilmarnock have won the last two meetings against Celtic at Rugby Park
  • This fixture pits the third best defence in the league against the best in the Scottish Premiership
  • Seven of Celtic’s 12 away games in the league have had under 2.5 goals

 

Celtic Preview

It always looked like being an uphill battle for Celtic in their Europa League tie against Valencia and that’s the way it proved as the Scottish champions were easily defeated 2-0 at home on Thursday. It leaves them right up against it and most likely already eliminated from Europe for another season, meaning their focus will solely be on domestic matters and their attempts at winning an unprecedented ‘treble treble’. Their lead heading into the weekend is six points but Rangers have the opportunity to cut that in half when playing at home the day before so there will be pressure on Brendan Rodgers to restore that gap. It’s been a powerful resumption to league business since the winter break as Celtic have reeled off five straight wins but the trip to face Kilmarnock is undoubtedly the biggest domestic test of 2019 as it’s been their away from against other top six sides which have hindered them in the first half of the season. The recent 2-0 win away to St Johnstone was certainly a step in the right direction and should give them confidence heading into Sunday’s game.

Kilmarnock v Celtic Betting Preview

The Scottish Premiership title race is the closest it has been in years and the match at Rugby Park on Sunday is another instalment of what a fascinating battle this season has been thus far. Killie are 11 points behind Celtic going into this one so it’s looking unlikely that Clarke’s men will be able to spring the ultimate surprise and become champions but a win narrows that to eight points and would also mean it’s a maximum of five between themselves and Rangers in second spot. Celtic know they will need to keep on winning to maintain their lead and the games continue to come thick and fast for Rodgers and his players.

Kilmarnock have lost just one of their last 10 matches in all competitions and are one of the most disciplined and well drilled teams in the league. Celtic have struggled against them precisely because of that and even though they took the lead on their last visit here, it was the hosts who came back to claim victory. It’s the third best defence in the league coming up against the best defence in the league which suggests it could be yet another tight encounter on a pitch that is just not conducive to fast-paced football which is how Celtic look to play. For those reasons I believe we’ll see a low-scoring game and will take under 2.5 goals. It’s been a winner in four of the last six meetings between these two clubs and also five out of Celtic’s last six away games in the league.


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