Celtic vs MotherwellScottish Premiership, KO: 15:00 Dec 12, 2021, Celtic Park
CELTIC have built up quite a head of steam in the Premiership but will have to overcome a shortage of strikers to see off Motherwell as they bid to keep pace with Rangers in the title race.
The Hoops warmed up for this clash with a thrilling Europa League win over Betis but it came at a cost as both star man Kyogo Furuhashi and back-up striker Albian Ajeti picked up hamstring injuries.
With a demanding run of games before the winter break it's the last thing Ange Postecoglou needs and his squad is being stretched to the limit.
I thought last weekend's trip to Tannadice would be tough for the Hoops after the exertions of a Thursday night clash with Hearts but Ange Postecoglou's men strolled to a 3-0 win that was even more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.
That made it 10 games unbeaten in the league for Celtic, with eight of those matches ending in victories. But both blips during that run came at Parkhead when the Hoops could only draw with Dundee United and Livingston.
That will give Motherwell hope of getting a result in Glasgow and the Steelmen have already proven their mettle by taking a point back from Ibrox earlier this season.
Graham Alexander's men have lost just one of their last five games, although that was a shambolic 3-0 defeat at Dundee, and sit in the top six on merit.
So they are capable of causing Postecoglou's side problems on the back of another draining Thursday night fixture.
How the bookies view it
Motherwell have been written off and are as big as 20/1 with Coral for a Parkhead win. Even the draw is huge at 13/2 with Paddy Power while Celtic's best price is a measly 11/50 at Novibet.
Recent head to head
Celtic have won their last nine games against Motherwell, including a 2-0 triumph at Fir Park earlier this season (below). They have also gone 21 games unbeaten in this fixture since a 2-1 loss at Parkhead in 2015.
Players to watch
Postecoglou rested some players for Thursday's Europa League dead rubber but paid a heavy price for bringing on Kyogo when Ajeti pulled up injured.
In the absence of a striker, backing a midfielder looks the best option for a Celtic goal. Tom Rogic will be key to breaking down Well's defence and the Aussie playmaker is 7/2 with Paddy Power to follow up his Tannadice wonder goal with another strike.
Tony Watt will return to his old club as the Premiership's top scorer and is enjoying a new lease of life in Lanarkshire. The man who scored that goal against Barcelona is 10/3 for another big Parkhead strike.
Anything else catch the eye?
Both teams to score was a profitable bet with Celtic earlier in the season but they have tightened things up now and boast the best defensive record in the Premiership.
Clean sheets have been kept in three of their last four at home in the league so a Hoops win to nil stands a good chance here at 5/6 with Bet365. Those odds aren't great but you can get 27/20 at SportNation on Postecoglou's men winning both halves.
Betting on corners has been a shrewd move with the Hoops and I cashed in by tipping them to win over 7.5 at Tannadice. Their tally ended up at 12 and Celtic's last two home games have also seen them rack up 13 and 14.
Motherwell stopper Bevis Mugabe has picked up four yellows already this season, including one against Celtic, so looks decent value at 5/2 with Bet365 to be carded.
This Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell will be played on Dec 12, 2021 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.