AFTER an Old Firm clean sweep, Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) looks to build on that with another winning Scottish NAP this Sunday.
Inverness CT v Celtic | Sunday 15:00 | BT Sport 1
After profiting from Celtic’s Old Firm derby demolition of Rangers last weekend, it would be wrong to turn my back on Brendan Rodgers’ side just because they suffered a humiliating 7-0 defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek.
Against Messi, Suarez and Neymar, Celtic never stood a chance – although the Hoops may reflect on what might have happened had Moussa Dembele tucked away a penalty kick when they trailed just 1-0 against the Catalan giants; instead, the Frenchman, who was the hero against Mark Warburton’s men last weekend, saw his spot-kick saved and, from that point on, it was entirely one-way traffic.
Playing against Barcelona, though, is not a realistic gauge for Celtic and, on the domestic scene, the Hoops have been nothing short of sensational this season and I fully expect that trend to continue when the Scottish champions travel north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Sunday afternoon.
The Caley Jags had a terrible start to the season and Richie Foran’s side will have been delighted that they’ve rallied a bit by taking four points from their last two matches, but Caley’s defensive deficiencies are there for all to see, given that they’ve shipped 12 league goals so far this season – the only team in the top-flight to have dipped into double digits in the “goals against” column.
Given that Celtic have scored 20 goals in their five fixtures against Scottish opposition so far this season – 18 in their last four domestic matches – there is plenty for Foran and his side to be worried about when Celtic come calling.
The Hoops will hope to welcome back last season’s top scorer, Leigh Griffiths, after the 26-year-old striker sat out of the games against Rangers and Barcelona respectively, although the result in Glagow’s east end last weekend suggests that the Hoops have plenty of firepower elsewhere with Moussa Dembele helping himself to a hat-trick.
A comfortable Celtic win certainly looks to be on the cards this weekend, then, and the recent record between the two teams will make for uncomfortable reading for the hosts, for Rodgers’ charges have won each of the last four meetings between these side by two or more goals; indeed, Celtic have hit 15 goals in their last four fixtures against the Caley Jags, conceding just three goals in the process.
Backing an away win at 2/5, though, is not the way that I like to do things and, instead, I’ve found a way to side with Celtic at odds-against – by rowing in with Rodgers’ side in the handicap market.
The Hoops (-1) are superb value at 11/10 to beat Inverness by two or more goals this weekend and, should Rodgers’ side find their finest form – and shake off the Barcelona hangover – Celtic should ease to victory against Richie Foran’s men on Sunday.
Inverness CT v Celtic – Celtic -1 (21/20 Stan James)