Motherwell vs Celtic: Preview, team news and predicted XI

It was another disappointing result during the week as Celtic were held again by Dundee in a 0-0 stalemate. It was just a month ago that Dundee came to Celtic Park and played out a 0-0.

It was however a game in hand over Aberdeen, and from that perspective you’ve got to look at it as a point gained on them. Yes the result wasn’t what we anticipated after 4 wins on the bounce, but it put us 5 points clear. Put on top of that a significant goal difference.

Celtic face a tricky game on Saturday as they face Motherwell, the current most in form team in the league, just ahead of Celtic. Motherwell have won their last 5 matches and are now 4th in the league. Aberdeen play first though on Friday night as they face Hearts, a very tricky match itself. All eyes will be on that first to see if Aberdeen drop points.

Celtic go into the match with two fresh injury worries, quite significant ones as well. Both come in defence as Sviatchenko and Lustig are fighting for fitness after being substituted midweek against Dundee. Sviatchenko is definitely out after being told it’ll be around 10 days recovery time. Lustig is said to be ready to go. Rogic could be back in contention after missing out against Dundee. Jozo Simunovic remains out long term.

PREDICTED XI

There will be a couple of forced changes in defence taking into account Sviatchenko misses out and Lustig struggling to be match fit. Mulgrew will replace Sviatchenko and will partner Boyata in the centre. Tierney will continue as left back. At right back, it could be 1 of 3. I’ve gone for Janko, I think he’s the long term replacement for Lustig and it would be good to see him back in the team at last. He showed glimpses of promise before breaking his leg. The other two could be Emilio or Ambrose. Blackett….wait, let’s not go there.

As always, the two holding midfielders will continue to be Bitton and Brown. Brown is really struggling for any sort of form at the minute but he won’t be dropped from the team.

The front three of midfield I expect there to be no changes from Dundee. Johansen is finally getting some form back and has been one of the better players in recent weeks. No reason why he shouldn’t continue in the team. Roberts has to keep his place, he offers so much going forward and can create something out of nothing. They’ll be joined by GMS who is also on his best form since joining Celtic. 

Up front, Griffiths has been struggling of late. That’s the last 3 matches he’s not scored in and there are signs he’s ran out of steam. There’s simply no stopping him though and he’s just going through a dry spell. He will be back scoring soon enough. There’s no other options either as Cole and Kazim-Richards simply offer nothing.

PREVIEW

 It’s the two most in form teams going head to head this weekend. Motherwell have won 5 out of 5 while Celtic have won 4 of their last 5, drawing the other.

In the last 5 head to head meetings in all competitions, Celtic have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 1. The aggregate score being 8-3.

Of the last 5 meetings at Fir Park, Celtic have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 1. The aggregate score being 11-6.

Motherwell are only 1 of 3 teams to have beaten Celtic this season, winning 2-1 at Celtic Park back in December.

Celtic are unbeaten away from home since Aberdeen won 2-1, while Motherwell were last beat at home by Kilmarnock 4 matches ago.

5 matches ago, Motherwell were in the middle of a relegation battle. Now, they’re going for a European spot after gaining 15 points from 15.

In the last 42 matches at Fir Park, Celtic have won 24, drawn 10 and lost 8. The aggregate score being 89-49.

BETS

Celtic to win and both teams to score at 7/4.

Celtic to win and Griffiths to score anytime at 11/10.

Good luck.

 

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