THE Scottish Premiership returns after a welcome winter break with champions Celtic visiting Partick Thistle in a Glasgow derby, live on BT Sport 1.
You have to go back to 1995 for the last time the Jags beat Celtic. 26 games later and the best Thistle have managed is a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park last season so it's no surprise to see Celtic as short as 2/11 to take the three points.
Celtic looked a little jaded prior to the break but as expected were convincing in their 5-0 win over Brechin City in the Scottish Cup on Saturday. Thistle saw off Championship side Queen of the South to set up a fifth round tie with Celtic but need to start picking up points in the league if they're to avoid the drop at the end of the season.
But they'll have better opportunities to do so than in this match. Despite the short price, the Celtic win should be the basis of your Bet Builder bet.
Celtic have scored 22 goals in their last seven visits to Firhill and but have scored just seven in their last five league games. Notably, since the shock 4-0 defeat at Hearts their seemingly much-maligned defence haven't conceded in four games in the league.
Thistle are the lowest scoring team in the Preiership with just 19 goals so if we're looking at a goals bet it would appear we'll need to rely on the Bhoys to find the back of the net.
Normally I'd be siding with Celtic to score over 2.5 but the stats don't really back that up. Although they're the top scorers in the Premiership they average 2.18 per match and have only scored over 2.5 in eight of 22 matches so the odds of 3/5 them doing so against Thistle don't add up.
Trying to guess who'll start up front for Celtic is an art in itself these days. Brendan Rodgers seems determined to give young Odsonne Édouard his chance and has favoured him in front of Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths in several recent matches.
Personally I think Leigh Griffiths will get the nod at Firhill but for value, lets look elsewhere.
Scott Sinclair may not have hit the heights of last season in the Hoops but his stats still hold up. He's the club's top scorer on 14 goals, scored in the 5-0 rout of Brechin at the weekend and he scored twice against Thistle last season. In Demebele's absence Sinclair is also most likely to take any penalties so backing him to score anytime is the best bet to boost the Bet Builder odds.
It's worth mentioning that I would be going with under 1.5 cards for Celtic in this one, after all they average just 1.09 per match but at the time of writing there were no odds available on any kind of cards bets in the Bet Builder. The first black mark against the new feature.
Bet Builder Recommendation
- Celtic to win
- Scott Sinclair to score anytime
- Under 2.5 Celtic Goals
- Odds: 6/1 at Bet365