Neil Lennon takes his side to Fir Park on Saturday but will keep one eye on the forthcoming Champions League tie with Cluj
Celtic charged to their familiar position atop the Scottish Premiership table with a thumping 7-0 win over St Johnstone last weekend and travel to Fir Park on Saturday for a meeting with Motherwell.
In between times, Neil Lennon’s side managed to avoid any Champions League horror stories as they went to Transylvania on Tuesday and picked up a 1-1 draw with Cluj, James Forrest grabbing a precious away goal shortly before the break.
Before the return leg against the Romanian champions next week, though, the Hoops tackle the Steelmen, who can lay serious claim to being one of the form teams in the country currently.
|Game||Motherwell vs Celtic|
|Date||Saturday, August 10|
|Time||12noon BST / 7am ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will be available to stream on B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be available to watch on Sky Sports Football and streamed via Sky Go Extra.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go Extra|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Hartley, Gallagher, Maguire, Dunne, Ilic, Livingstone, Tait, Donnelly|
|Midfielders||Campbell, Grimshaw, Polworth, Sloth|
|Forwards||Hylton, Seedorf, Tanner, Long, Cole, Scott|
Motherwell will be without Jake Carroll, who has been handed a two-match ban and will also miss next weekend’s clash with Hearts.
Long-term injury deprives the hosts of David Turnbull, whose move to Celtic in the summer collapsed because of the issue, while Craig Tanner and Christy Mazinga are also out.
Barry Maguire and Christian Ilic are doubts.
Possible Motherwell starting XI: Gillespie; Grimshaw, Gallagher, Dunne, Tait; Campbell, Donnelly, Polworth; Hylton, Ilic, Scott
|Defenders||Bolingoli, Jullien, Ajer, Hendry, Elhamed, Miller, Ralston|
|Midfielders||Bitton, Kouassi, Connell, Ntcham, Forrest, Hayes, Morgan, McGregor, Christie|
|Forwards||Sinclair, Johnston, Shved, Edouard, Griffiths, Bayo|
Celtic are without the banned Jozo Siminovic, while Tom Rogic, Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani are all injured.
Mikey Johnston continues to struggle and is regarded as a doubt.
With midweek commitments to juggle, Neil Lennon can be expected to change up his starting XI.
Possible Celtic starting XI: Bain; Elhamed, Ajer, Jullien, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor; Shved, Christie, Johnston; Griffiths
Betting & Match Odds
Celtic can be backed at 1/3 to win this match with bet365. Motherwell are 8/1 outsiders, while the draw is on offer at 4/1.
Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.
It may be a new season, but so far it’s been a case of business as usual for Celtic ahead of their trip to Motherwell in Scottish Premiership action.
Five European matches have been negotiated undefeated by Neil Lennon’s men, who stand as favourites to progress to the playoff round after scoring a credible 1-1 draw away to Cluj in the first leg of their third-round qualifier.
“We’ve got to be delighted with the away goal,” Lennon said. “I thought we looked good moving forward throughout the game. I was delighted with our attacking intent, and I thought we defended resolutely throughout the game as well. You have to give Cluj credit, they scored a fine goal on the counterattack.
“But our reaction was superb, with Ryan Christie and Edouard playing brilliantly throughout the game. They always looked like they could score. And, of course, James Forrest is a big-game player and he’s popped up with another crucial goal for us this evening.”
With Kieran Tierney having subsequently moved to Arsenal for £25 million ($30m) on Thursday, thoughts can turn back towards the league, having started in spectacular fashion with a 7-0 rout over St Johnstone last weekend in which Christie grabbed a hat-trick.
Motherwell should prove to be sterner opponents than the Perth club, having won all four of their BetFred Cup group stage games before going to Livingston last weekend and securing a scoreless draw.
In five competitive fixtures this season, Steve Robinson’s side have yet to concede a single goal, while they have scored 13 of their own.
“We’ve got a lot of pace, a lot of energy and a lot of good, good footballers in the team,” he said. “We’ve got boys that supplement what we already had so I think it’ll be an exciting brand of football.
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“We will lose games as well, of course, but it will be by being positive.”
With both sides coming into this match in strong form, it promises to be a spectacular encounter in North Lanarkshire.