Will Celtic stretch their lead at the top against Kilmarnock?

Celtic return to domestic action and return to Celtic Park after a few league games on the road as they welcome the visit of Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock side to Celtic Park. Fans will be eager for a positive response from the Parkhead side after a disappointing and frustrating time of it against Lazio on Wednesday night, a match many are seeing as a missed opportunity, especially given the team’s performance on the night.

Despite that blip in Europe, Celtic have been performing well domestically but it hasn’t come without the drama. The team’s mentality has been evidently strong over the last few weeks as the club saw their way through a trip to Ibrox with 3 points despite an injury crisis, defeated Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena with 10 men and followed that with a last-gasp victory over Motherwell at Fir Park.

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Matt O’Riley grabbed the winner on that afternoon in Lanarkshire and the Dane hasn’t put a foot wrong so far this season. Despite his early season exploits, it wasn’t enough to earn him his maiden call-up to the Danish national team which had been heavily rumoured to have been happening in this upcoming international break. The 22-year-old will be playing with a point to prove this weekend and it can only benefit Celtic.

Kilmarnock have had a mixed bag of a start to their domestic campaign. They currently sit in eighth place in the cinch Premiership after starting the season strongly, inflicting an early blow to Rangers at Rugby Park on the opening day with a 1-0 victory. They followed that unexpected result up with a shock win over Celtic in Ayrshire in the Viaplay Cup second round, knocking the Hoops out in the process.


They have shown a knack for stepping up against the bigger teams so far this season and having already defeated Rodgers’ men this season, McInnes will be eager to implement a similar game plan at Celtic Park to really stifle the Hoops’ game. It could have been argued that that result at Rugby Park had been coming after an uninspiring start to the season, but the recent feel good factor that has been surrounding Celtic at the moment has fans believing that the club are beginning to hit their stride.

This has been helped with many key players returning to form, the likes of Greg Taylor and Callum McGregor who were extremely poor in that Viaplay Cup exit have started to find their footing this season, the captain especially putting in a top-drawer display mid-week.

The problem with Kilmarnock recently has just been that they are drawing too many games, with Killie’s last 3 league games resulting in draws against St Mirren, Dundee and Hibernian.

If Celtic are fully firing and at the top of their game then it should be a routine win for the men in Hoops, however as previously mentioned, McInnes’ side possess the ability to cause Celtic some problems. This match does present the perfect opportunity for Celtic to record a comfortable victory and begin to rebuild momentum heading into the international break following that disappointing result in Europe.


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