Celtic vs MotherwellScottish Premiership, KO: 15:00 Nov 25, 2023, Celtic Park
CELTIC are heading into a demanding run of fixtures that will define their season and will be looking to stretch their lead at the top of the SPFL Premiership when struggling Motherwell come calling.
It kept them five points clear of resurgent Rangers and Celtic will now be hoping the Dons can do them a favour by taking points off Philippe Clement's side at Pittodrie.
This clash with Motherwell comes 24 hours before Rangers head north so it gives Brendan Rodgers' side the chance to move eight points clear and put on a bit of pressure.
Celtic have nine games to cram in before the next Old Firm derby on December 30, including their last two Champions League matches, so it's a pivotal point in the season.
Injuries have been mounting up so Rodgers' squad is being stretched a little but the Hoops should still have too much firepower for a Motherwell side in dismal form.
The revival continued into the new campaign, with Motherwell taking 10 points from their first four Premiership fixtures, but they have since gone into a tailspin, losing seven times in a run of nine games without a victory.
That has piled pressure on to Kettlewell and he needs to start getting some points on the board to make sure it's not a miserable festive season for the Fir Park faithful.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to head
There was late drama when these sides faced off at Fir Park earlier this season, with Blair Spittal's injury-time leveller for Well followed by an even later strike from Matt O'Riley that sealed a 2-1 win for Celtic.
That made it 29 games without defeat for the Hoops in this fixture since Motherwell claimed a shock 2-1 Parkhead win back in 2015. But the Fir Park side will take heart from the fact they claimed a 1-1 draw on their last visit to the East End of Glasgow.
Players to watch
Some Celtic players have been racking up the air miles on international duty so it will be interesting to see what side Rodgers picks here. Winger Yang Hyun-Ju was away with South Korea's Under-23s but should start after a dazzling display against Aberdeen last time out. He grabbed his first Celtic goal in that game and is a tempting 3/1 with Bet365 to follow it up with another.
One of the few positives of late for Motherwell has been the return to fitness of Arsenal loanee Mika Biereth. The young Dane has four goals in just seven appearances for Well and looks a bit overpriced at 15/2 with Unibet for anytime scorer.
Anything else catch the eye?
It's easy to see where the problem lies for Motherwell as they haven't kept a clean sheet since beating Hearts for their last victory way back in early September. The Steelmen have conceded two or more goals in six of their last seven matches but have also been scoring, with only two blanks in that sequence. Going for BTTS paid off for me when Celtic visited Fir Park earlier this season and a repeat here offers better odds at 5/4 with Betway.
You have to go to over 3.5 goals to get to evens with Bet365 but backing over 1.5 first-half goals is a little better at 11/10 with Coral. That bet has landed in Celtic's last five home games in all competitions.
Going for Celtic corners is usually a profitable business and they've won 12-2, 13-2 and 11-0 on that count in their last three domestic fixtures. Backing the Hoops at -6 in the corner handicap for this one pays 10/11 at Bet365 while over five first-half corners is 21/20 with the same firm.
Calum Butcher is usually good value for a card and the Motherwell stopper has picked up two yellows in his four games since returning from injury. He's 6/4 with Bet365 to add to that tally at Celtic Park.
This Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell will be played on Nov 25, 2023 and kick off at 15:00. Check below for our tipsters best Celtic vs Motherwell prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.