CELTIC are chasing in the Scottish Premiership. They need to beat Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Monday in the live Sky game.
Kilmarnock v Celtic | Monday 20:00 | Sky Sports 1
Shit just got real in Scotland! Celtic go into this Monday night clash four points behind leaders Aberdeen. It's the first time a non-Glasgow side has led the table post-Hogmanay since 1997/98.
It was a bad Christmas for Ronny Delia's side. They lost to Dundee United four days before Santa arrived, and then followed that up with a 0-0 draw at home to Ross County in the weekend between Christmas and New Year. That was the shortest-priced loser of the whole of 2014 in British football. Not good.
Their game on New Years Day was called off against Partick Thistle and that might be the key here. Kilmarnock did play on the opening day of the year and squeezed past St Mirren 2-1. The extra rest for Celtic I think will prove crucial.
On top of the extra rest for Celtic, I sense we'll get a reaction to their poor festive period. You can imagine the players will be desperate to right the wrongs of the last two weeks and get back on the pitch. They'll surely be hurting being demoted to second place in the table.
Killie have had a streaky season. They had an excellent start to the season and found themselves up in third in mid-October after a run of six wins in eight matches. A defeat to Celtic on October 26th was the trigger for their form to unravel.
Allan Johnstone's side suffered seven defeats in eight and dropped into the bottom half of the table, two consecutive wins over the festive period have ended that poor run but I think they face a tough ask here.
Before their festive blip, Celtic had won eight consecutive league matches and secured a place in the Last 32 of the Europa League. This is very much only a blip and I wouldn't be surprised if they went on another winning run. Starting here!
Ronny Delia's side are 1/3 with Paddy Power to take the three points. That's a foregone conclusion in my view. I'll go large here and back them -2 on the handicap. The combination of the extra rest and the hurt they'll be feeling should propel Celtic to a comfortable victory.
Kilmarnock v Celtic – Celtic -2 (23/10 Paddy Power)