Celtic vs Hearts: Preview, predicted starting XI and betting tip

Celtic go into the League Cup tie full of confidence after beating Dundee United 5-0 at the weekend. Celtic are more or less injury free, with Charlie Mulgrew still out in what looks to be a long term injury. Saidy Janko picked up a knock as well and looks to miss out.

James Forrest is fit again however and has been training for the last few days, so he could feature. There was a training ground bust-up today in which Nadir Ciftci reacted angrily to a late challenge from Emilio Izaguirre, which resulted in Izaguirre needing stitches in his ear. Ronny however has today confirmed it has been forgotten about and both players are available for the game against Hearts.

Predicted starting XI


It’s a chance to change about the team and bring in some players who haven’t featured recently. Leigh Griffiths should be rested and this gives a chance for Ciftci to come in and get a goal or two. There’s been talk that Aidan Nesbitt could start after some great performances in the reserve team.

The back four should still remain relatively the same, however Ambrose needs to be dropped before anymore mistakes happen, Lustig to replace him. Tierney should keep his place after another good performance at the weekend. Craig Gordon could be given a rest with Bailly coming in instead.

Forrest will probably be thrown back in to get back to match fitness, with Mackay-Steven getting a chance to prove his worth. Commons and Johansen could be rested with Rogic also coming in. There’s a chance Scott Allan will finally appear again for Celtic after recovering from injury, however he played on Monday night for the reserves, so may not start.


Celtic have enjoyed the success of the last lot of games against Hearts, the last time Hearts winning was the 2012 Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden. 

Since then, Hearts have conceded 30 goals in 10 meetings, scoring only 2 in the process.

Celtic won 4-0 at Tynecastle and 3-0 at Celtic Park in the two Cup fixtures last season. Hearts had 10 straight defeats against Celtic up until the 0-0 draw last month.

Betting tip

Another winner at the weekend as Celtic & over 3.5 goals came in with ease. Tips for tomorrow are:

Celtic to win and both teams to score at 15/8.

Nadir Ciftci to score anytime at 1/1. Wait for team news before backing this one. If Aidan Nesbitt starts instead, back him anytime at 7/4.

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