Hearts v Celtic
Scottish Premiership, Kick-Off: Saturday 12:30, Saturday August 11th. Live on Sky Sports Football.
AFTER a disappointing result on Wednesday night v AEK Athens, Celtic return to domestic action with a tough trip to Tynecastle to face an in-form Hearts side.
Craig Levein has assembled a new look Hearts side with 9 players going out and 12 players coming in. Amongst those who come in are Steven Maclean from St Johnstone, Olly Lee from Luton and Uche Ikpeazu from Cambridge. After a narrow win v Cove Rangers and then a draw v Raith Rovers, things have clicked into place and they've smashed in 14 goals in 3 games.
New signings Maclean and Ikpeazu have both netted 3 goals in 4 appearances. Levein seems happy to let the team play with more freedom compared to last season where they were very hard to watch at times and he is certainly getting the rewards for it.
The only signing of note so far for Celtic is Odsonne Edouard who's loan from last season was made permanent for a club record fee. Brendan Rodgers has made it clear this week that he is unhappy the board aren't doing enough to bring in quality to replace players like Stuart Armstrong and Patrick Roberts who departed during the summer. John McGinn also slipped through the net midweek to sign for Aston Villa rather than Celtic.
After straight forward victories v Alashkert of Armenia and Rosenberg of Norway, the defensive frailties were shown up once again when newly promoted Livingston netted at Celtic Park last weekend before poor defending from Mikael Lustig and Kris Ajer allowed AEK Athens to get that crucial away goal midweek. Hearts' in form strikers will fancy their chances v this defence.
Last seasons games between the two sides seen all 4 games have at least 4 goals with score lines of 4-1, 4-0, 3-1 and 1-3. You have to go back to February 2014 to find a game at Tynecastle that went under 2.5. Of the previous 18 at Tynecastle, 15 have seen over 2.5 goals land.