Hibs v Celtic: Bhoys to brush capital club aside


DAILY RECORD star Mr Fixit (@mrfixittps) shares his best bets from Sunday's Scottish action.

Hibs v Celtic | Sunday 16th December 2018, 12:30 | Sky Sports

Matches between these two have been among the most entertaining of the season since the Hibees returned to the top-flight in 2017.

Hibernian recorded a timely win at Hamilton last week, their first victory in eight matches, to halt a worrying slump in form. But with matches against champions Celtic, Rangers (twice), in-form Livingston and city rivals Hearts before the winter break, they'll need to improve significantly if they're to finish 2018 in the top half of the table.

Celtic go in to the game off the back of a bizarre night at Celtic Park on Thursday. The Hoops were second best to an impressive Red Bull Salzburg side who ran out 2-1 winners, but Rosenborg's late goal was enough to see Brendan Rodgers' men progress to the Last 32 of the Europe League. The prospect of European football after Christmas will have given the place a lift, even if Thursday's performance didn't.

The question ahead of their visit to Easter Road is, how much will that match have taken out of the champions? And subsequently, how many chances will the manager make to the starting line-up?

Injuries to Ryan Christie and Mikael Lustig will mean that alterations are forced upon him but the team have suffered when he's made too many at one time so I expect we'll see as strong a line-up as possible for the Bhoys.

We've seen 28 goals scored in the last seven meetings of the two sides with six of those going Over 2.5 Goals. Indeed, five have gone Over 3.5 Goals. Both Teams To Score looks reasonably priced at 4/5, whilst Over 2.5 Goals is 43/50 (Marathon).

Prior to last week's 5-1 win over Kilmarnock the goals had appeared to have dried up a little for Celtic and the absence of Christie and Griffiths from the squad won't help. We also shouldn't expect Hibs to be as adventurous as they normally are against Celtic either. Neil Lennon offered some words of caution at Friday's press conference,

“We're short of players but we're still capable of getting something out of the game. Can we press like Salzburg? No. We could last year, we did that a couple of times at Easter Road particularly in the game we won but I'm not sure at the minute if we can do that.

We can't afford to go gung-ho either. We did that in the first half at Celtic Park and it could have been more than 3-0 at half-time. It's more of a question of who we have available, rather than who's out.”

With that in mind, I'm going to shy away from goals bets and side with Celtic to be winning at half-time and full-time. They've blown away quite a few teams in the first-half lately and if they come flying out of the traps on Sunday might do so again. It's 7/5 (Betfair) for Celtic /Celtic which is pretty decent when you consider the Celts are around the 1/2 to win.

Scott Brown will be expected to return the starting line-up for Celtic which could mean Callum McGregor in a more attacking role. He's 12/1 (Spreadex) to score first and 9/2 (Spreadex) to score anytime so could be worth a look.

Another stat to note is that Celtic have MISSED three penalties in their last four matches. A penalty to be awarded is 3/1 (William Hill) and for the Hoops to score one is 6/1 (888).

Best Bets

Hibernian v Celtic – Celtic/Celtic (7/5 Betfair)

Hibernian v Celtic – Callum McGregor to score at anytime (9/2 Spreadex)

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Mr Fixit is the resident football tipster at the Daily Record, Scotland's best read newspaper. He's also the proud host of one the best betting communities on the web, MrFixitsTips.co.uk.

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