Despite losing stalwarts such as Kelly, Gallagher, Halkett and Menga, manager Holt has seemingly pulled together another awkward squad.
Although attendances average under 3,000, Livingston sit mid-table on eight points from seven games.
Livingston are one of only four clubs on double figures SPFL goals after seven
rounds. Only two of their ten goals have come at home, however.
With 62 shots attempted, they have tried exactly half Celtic’s total shots. Whereas 45% of Livi efforts are on target, Celtic hit the mark only 35% of the time. But 50% of those shots go in for Celtic compared to 36% for Livi.
They have conceded 11, so expect action at both ends. But bear in mind Livingston have allowed only 67 shots against – the fourth best in the league. Celtic lead the way on 35.
Livingston tend to score early (7 out of 10 goals within the first 40 minutes) but concede late (8 of 11 after 50 minutes). Celtic spread their goals though the games quite evenly.
If Celtic score first expect an away win. Livingston have failed to come back from behind so far this season. Celtic have salvaged points from three matches in deficit so far.
I would not expect Lennon to rotate too heavily given the impeding international break.
If they score first, I’d expect a 2-0 Celtic win with Forrest to score.
Livingston do many things right but are more known for the things they do wrong. Or the things that don’t fit in with wisdom’s perfect view of what football should be. The problem is that perfect view is unobtainable for most as football is an unbalanced, imperfect game.
Even clubs with vast resources are never permanently perfect so to ask Scottish clubs with limited or no resources to be perfect is fanciful snobbery. I’m glad Neil Lennon has praised the West Lothian club. Unlike some, he has no delusions or arrogance.
Lennoxtown will be a ghost town from Monday onwards as the international break starts and I can’t see Celtic making too many changes with no domestic fixtures for two weeks. We will want to go into the break still top of the league and our team selection will reflect that. I expect this to be a dour encounter and one that we will need to dig in to get a result.
1-0 to Celtic with Calum McGregor scoring.
Celtic make the trip across the M8 to take on seventh-placed Livingston for the Sunday lunchtime kick-off. After a positive start to the season where Livingston remained unbeaten in August with eight points, September saw four straight losses in all competitions.
Celtic will go into the match high in confidence after a commanding display against CFR Cluj on Thursday night and will be expected to extend our unbeaten start in domestic competitions. I expect it to be a tough afternoon on the artificial surface, especially in the middle third where Celtic will need to push to dominate early.
Securing three points is the main objective before players leave for international duty and this should mean minimal changes to the side who played so well in Thursday night’s victory.
2 – 0 to Celtic with Jullien to score anytime.