It’s fair to say Celtic aren’t at their fluent best at the moment. Neil Lennon’s boys have won three of their last eight in all competitions but one of those victories, against Aberdeen, was a touch fortunate and indeed over that period, only once, in the 3-0 triumph against Hibs a fortnight ago, have the Hoops produced the kind of convincing performance we’re normally used to.
Celtic’s ordinary form hints at vulnerability as they prepare to host Inverness, who won on their last visit to Parkhead in November and as Caley Thistle arrive on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run, some will fancy an upset at 7/1 via bet365.
In the circumstances, that price is undoubtedly too big, in the same way that William Hill’s 2/5 posted against the hosts is a touch skinny, however, before punters pile into Terry Butcher’s resilient troops, it’s worth noting that this is potentially something of a title party for the Hoops, who will be keen to celebrate clinching the championship in front of their own supporters.
Aware that a defeat would dampen the mood then, the home side should get something from the contest but Inverness, who have drawn four of their last six, are stubborn enough to ensure the spoils are shared; a result BetVictor offer at 4/1.
As clean sheets for the league leaders have been few and far between of late, it’s likely that both teams will find the net (4/5, Stan James) and that lends appeal to Ladbrokes’ massive 9/1 for it to finish one-each.
Kris Commons is the man that can keep up the hosts’ side of the scoring bargain. The Hoops attacker has struck six times in his last four outings and bet365 make him 11/8 to find the net at any stage in this one. At the other end, Andrew Shinnie looks a touch overpriced at 5/1 via Coral to get on the scoresheet and the pair are 11/2 (bet365) and 14/1 (Skybet) respectively to break the deadlock.
Celtic and Inverness to draw 1-1 – 9/1 (Ladbrokes)