Two defeats in their opening eight matches means Celtic are six points worse off than they were at the same stage last season and the Hoops already have plenty of ground to make up on SPL leaders Rangers.
Neil Lennon’s boys can’t afford to slip up at Hearts then and they look a banker at 4/6 with Paddy Power to pick up a sixth win in seven meetings with the Jambos.
Paulo Sergio’s troops, bet365’s 5/1 outsiders, looked toothless in attack as they went down at St Johnstone a week ago and that doesn’t bode well as they line-up against a defence that has kept clean sheets in four of their last five domestic assignments, especially as the Hoops have also shut out the Hearts attack in three of the pair’s last four meetings.
Punters can cash-in on another Celtic victory ‘to nil’ at odds of 7/4 with Skybet and with an eye on last Sunday’s result, it could be worth risking a few quid on Ladbrokes’ tasty 8/1 for Lennon’s charges to follow Saints’ lead and notch twice without reply against the Gorgie outfit.
The Hoops can get their noses in front relatively early in proceedings and Betdaq post 2.75 (7/4) against them leading at the end of each half while Totesport offer 6/5 for the deadlock to be broken before the 26-minute mark.
That opening goal is 9/2 (Partybets) to be struck by Gary Hooper and the Celtic striker is bound to be well backed at that price to score first. However, James Forrest is the man that could really bash the bookies at Tynecastle.
The youngster already has the same number of league goals as Hooper having featured more regularly this term and given that he opened the scoring twice for the Hoops against the Jambos last season, he’s huge at 19/2 with to give Lennon’s men a 1-0 lead this afternoon.
James Forrest to score first – 19/2 ()
Celtic to win ‘to nil’ – 7/4 (Skybet)