St. Johnstone v Celtic
De Ja Vu for these two sides who battled out midweek, in a match which ended 2-0 to Celtic.
Sunday 3rd of February
Wright’s men will want to ensure there won’t be a repeat of last time
With both sides having just played each other at Celtic Park, St. Johnstone can take solace in the fact that a 2-0 loss is far more honourable than the 6-0 loss they suffered at home to Celtic back in October. In the eight home matches that followed that result, St. Johnstone have only lost twice, losing 2-1 to both Rangers and Motherwell. Despite this decent run, their home form has been eclipsed by their away form which has seen the Perth side win more matches (seven to four) and pick up on average more points picking up 1.75 points per away game to their lowly 1.45 points in home matches.
Where goals are concerned, Saints have only failed to score once in six home matches, averaging 1.27 goals at home. One of the biggest drawback for St. Johnstone this season has been drawing matches at home, as they have dropped eight points through four draws at McDiarmid Park this season. The main reason for this is the side conceding a goal per home game (1.27) this season. With only three clean sheets in six matches, Tommy Wright needs to plug the gap in his defence or a Celtic side in scoring form may get multiple goals this Sunday.
An interesting stat going into this, all of St. Johnstone’s last 6 matches both home and away in all competitions have ended with both teams not scoring, with St. Johnstone winning and losing to nil in all of each of them.
Late transfer window action sees Celtic get reinforcements for the rest of the campaign
It’s safe to say that Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was busy on the night of the 31st having added Bundesliga defender Jeremy Toljan and Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved to their ranks. It is unclear if the new signings will feature against St. Johnstone, regardless Celtic will have enough fire power to deal Saints damage. Having already fired eight goals in two matches against St. Johnstone this season.
Although at times Celtic have been unplayable this season, their away form leaves something to be desired, having lost four away games, drawn three and only won four. A reason for this is the side’s lack of goals when playing away as they have only managed on average 1.82 goals when playing away from home, although they have only conceded on average 0.91 goals per away game, Celtic remain vulnerable to the other team getting an equaliser or a late winner. This is due to the away side often going compact at the back and Celtic struggling to break them down as easy as they do at home. Perhaps new signing Shved will be the answer to their problem.
Although differing circumstances dictate results for previous seasons, it has to be said that Celtic haven’t lost to Saints in ten occasions with the last time the home side grabbed a victory over the Glasgow club was back in 2016.
No fresh injury concerns for either side, however Celtic still miss key faces…
Though there are not any fresh injury woes for Celtic, the away side are still without essential members of their squad. Rogic still remains with the Socceroos for the Asia Cup. Leigh Griffiths remains out due to personal reasons and Tierney is still out injured since the Red Bull Salzburg game in the Europa League.
St. Johnstone go into the match with no new injury concerns.
Stats point to a Celtic win, but by how much
Although Celtic’s away form has let them down this season, they are still very much expected to get the win here having been priced at 4/11 compared to St. Johnstone at 8/1.
The real question is how to get value in a most likely one sided affair. Goals always add to the price with odds of 4/6 for over 2.5 goals to be scored in the match. In addition to Celtic winning the match, you can get EVENS for Celtic to win and there to be over 2.5 goals scored in the match.
For a bet in the both teams to score market, bookies offer around 9/10 for both teams to score. Further adding more value to this would be a bet with Celtic to win and both teams to score priced at 2/1. However due to St. Johnstone’s home matches rarely ending this way a bet like this may prove to be a struggle with waiting for Saints to score. With odds of both teams not to score at 20/23, there is a element of risk as the stats can’t account for consolation goals or unexpected goals from the home side.
Continuing from both teams not scoring, the stat that Saints have not had both teams to score in any of their last six home matches. There is a potential for the to win to nil market. You can get odds of 6/5 for Celtic to win to nil.
Celtic to win and Over 2.5 Goals (EVS)
Celtic to win to nil (6/5)