Celtic vs Livingston

, KO: 15:00 Dec 23, 2023, Celtic Park

CELTIC fans are feeling anything but festive this Christmas and the atmosphere at Parkhead will be toxic if they drop more points at home to rock-bottom Livingston in the SPFL Premiership.

Plenty of Hoops fans thought the title was in the bag when they were seven points clear and rivals Rangers binned Michael Beale following a disastrous start to the campaign.

With the next Old Firm clash at Parkhead, it looked like Brendan Rodgers' side could open up a double-digit lead heading into the winter break. But they now face the prospect of being knocked off the summit when Philippe Clement's revitalised side come calling on December 30.

Gers closed the gap to just two points with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Wednesday, as two bets landed for me, and they also have a game in hand on the champions.

That's down to the Hoops suffering back-to-back defeats against Kilmarnock and Hearts, with the performances almost as worrying as the results for the green half of Glasgow.

Celtic have also coughed up points at home to the likes of St Johnstone and Motherwell this season after struggling to break down teams who park the bus and it's a game plan Livingston are likely to follow here.

Livi fans have even more reason to cry into their pint this Christmas with their side rooted to the foot of the table after collecting just one point from their last nine matches.

The latest defeat came at Aberdeen in midweek, although the Lions could take some heart from the fact they ended a seven-match run without scoring.

David Martindale's men have punched above their weight for years but having the smallest budget in the Premiership is now starting to bite and they need to get some wins on the board to avoid being cut further adrift.

How the bookies view it

Despite their dismal recent form, Celtic are still hot favourites for this one at a best 1/9 with Coral. Livingston are as big as 33/1 with the same firm while the draw pays 9/1 at Betfair.

Recent head to head

Livingston had been something of a bogey team for the Hoops but they've now lost five in a row against Celtic, including a 3-0 loss at home earlier this season where Rodgers' side played most of the game with 10 men.

Three of the last seven meetings at Celtic Park have ended in 0-0 stalemates, summing up how tough Celtic have found Livingston to break down under Martindale.

Players to watch

Matt O'Riley is having the best season of his career and the Celtic midfielder needs just one more goal to hit double figures for the season. He's 7/4 with Bet365 for anytime scorer and could also be worth backing for an assist once that market is priced up.

Joel Nouble's form has been a big disappointment for Livingston this season after impressing so much last term. He hasn't scored since August but Celtic have found the big striker hard to handle in the past and he's 13/2 at Paddy Power to haunt them again.

Anything else catch the eye?

You don't need to be a genius to work out how Livingston will approach this game and Martindale is sure to set up in a low block. That's why betting against BTTS pays just 1/2 with most firms but a Celtic win with under 3.5 goals looks tempting at 11/10 with Coral.

The one constant with the Hoops during their inconsistent campaign has been a high corner count and I cashed in with another bet in that market as they lost to Hearts. Rodgers side racked up an incredible 18 flag kicks in that match and have hit double figures in their last six home domestic games. That makes over 11 match corners worth a look at evens with Bet365 while the same firm price Celtic – 8 at the same price in the handicap.

Eight cards were dished out when these sides faced off earlier in the season and five of them went to the Lions. Backing over 3.5 cards here pays 5/4 with Bet365 and the same firm price Livingston midfielder Jason Holt at 7/4 to go in the book.

This match between Celtic and Livingston will be played on Dec 23, 2023 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Celtic vs Livingston prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Celtic vs Livingston Betting Tips & Predictions
Over 11 corners
Celtic win and under 3.5 goals
Over 3.5 cards
Further Reading

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