• Mon 24 Oct, 2016
  • 23:13 BST
  • 19:13 EST (BST-4)
  • 01:13 CEST (BST+2)

Hooper 11/4 to break deadlock

Live on Sky Sports 4: Sun 12:45 Celtic v Hearts by Chris Hutcheon
Celtic may have made a fairly unconvincing start to the campaign but following the victory over Motherwell at Fir Park last week the Hoops hit the front and looking a more cohesive unit in recent matches, Neil Lennon’s men are hard to oppose ahead of today’s visit of Hearts.

Admittedly the Jambos, BetVictor‘s 9/1 outsiders, romped to a 3-0 victory at Dundee United in their last away match but last weekend’s 3-1 home reverse against Kilmarnock was their third loss in four attempts, so it’s easy to see why they’re odds-on at 1/3 with bet365 to leave Parkhead empty-handed.

Looking more defensively sound in recent weeks, the Bhoys should be able to keep the Hearts’ attack at bay and Ladbrokes rate Lennon’s troops at 11/10 to prevail ‘to nil’. More specifically, they’re 11/2 courtesy of William Hill to notch twice without reply for the second successive weekend.

Domestically, Gary Hooper has gone goal crazy in the last couple of weeks, helping himself to six goals in three matches and the Celtic front man has to be the pick at 11/4 (Stan James) to break the deadlock especially as he smashed in all five goals in the pair’s last Parkhead clash, back in May.

Alternatively, the 24-year-old is 8/11 with William Hill to add to his tally at any stage and Stan James quote an enticing 11/4 for the former Scunthorpe striker to bag a brace.

Elsewhere, the hosts are penalised by a goal in the handicaps, where BetVictor subsequently chalk them up at 10/11, Stan James make the Hoops 8/11 to be in possession of a lead at the end of each half and an early strike for the champions could also be on the cards.

Lennon’s charges have struck inside the opening ten minutes in three of their last six league meetings with Hearts and the game’s first goal is 3/1 (bet365) to continue that trend.

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