WHEN the new site is launched there will be all sorts of forums and one I quite like the idea of is “against the stats” picks.
Most tips are based on stats, form and h2h results but some of the best come through hunches and gut feeling.
Looking at Celtic’s trip to Dingwall the stats suggest an away win to nil but after watching an awful Hoops’ display and some terrible defending my gut feeling is Ronny Deila’s men will concede.
The stats show Celtic have kept a clean sheet in their last four matches against Ross County and to win to nil they are 6-5 at William Hill.
Deila’s men have played well in between the two Molde losses and that doesn’t say a lot for the state of Scottish football.
Players such as Liam Boyce and Brian Graham will fancy their chances after watching Molde fill their boots. Boyce is 11-1 and Graham 12-1 with Paddy Power to open the scoring.
Celtic will be without skipper Scott Brown and Jozo Simunovic who lasted just eight minutes against Molde. That means a likely recall for Efe Ambrose with Tyler Blackett’s confidence likely to be shattered by a shoddy show that ended in the sub being subbed.
Nir Bitton picked up a knock before being sent off and Tom Rogic is also doubtful. Kris Commons limped off at half-time and is unlikely to be involved. Young defender Kieran Tierney was the only player given passmarks against Molde by Deila but he’s unlikely to start a second game in four days.
So Celtic have a pile of problems and if County were in form I’d have no hesitation in taking them not to lose at a best 23-10 with 888sport. It’s that big because the home men are as big as 9-1 with Betfred while the draw pays 4-1 with the same firm.
I can’t back Celtic at a best 4-11 with the likes of bet365 and William Hill although to be fair they usually bounce back well from Euro flops. Top scorer Leigh Griffiths was unlucky in midweek with two disallowed goals and he also missed a sitter late one.
If he was still at Parkhead he’d probably be getting a game and is 9-1 with Betfred to add to the one he hit two games ago at Inverness.
To sum up this is a tough one to call. County have lost their last two league games to Dundee United and Hearts by defeated Inverness in the League Cup quarter-final in between those games.
Celtic remain untouchable domestically but with so many players missing or doubtful and a defence as watertight as a chocolate teapot I reckon the home men can push their illustrious visitors close and County +2 at 4-5 with Ladbrokes is seriously tempting.
Ross Co +2 (3.15pm)
Irvine to score
Both to score
(1-1, William Hill)