Celtic vs Ross CountyScottish Premiership, KO: 12:30 Aug 5, 2023, Celtic Park
CELTIC begin the defence of their Scottish Premiership title with a home match against Ross County on Saturday lunchtime.
The Bhoys brushed aside all before them in Scotland last season en-route to an eye-watering fifth domestic treble across the last seven seasons.
That latest clean sweep proved to be Ange Postecoglou final act in the Parkhead hotseat, with the Aussie opting for the glitz and glamour of the Premier League when he opted to take the reins at Tottenham Hotspur shortly after last season's Scottish cup final triumph.
Former boss Brendan Rodgers has since been reappointed and he will look to mark his homecoming in style when the Scottish champions unfurl the flag in their curtain-raiser with Ross County this weekend.
As for the Staggies, they endured a forgetful season last year, surviving relegation by the skin of their teeth courtesy a dramatic playoff victory against Partick Thistle
Unsurprisingly, County manager Malky Mackay has since rolled the dice with a a number of summer signings, and his new-look sides' Scottish League Cup group stage showing serves as reason for optimism.
Ross County were toppled in each of their four league and cup clashes with Celtic last term and the bookies' odds unsurprisingly suggest that they will suffer the same fate here, with an away trading at a towering 22/1 (William Hill) while the draw is also deemed unlikely at 17/2 (William Hill).
At the risk of stating the obvious, Celtic are too short to side with here, but backing the Bhoys to win and Kyogo Furuhashi to score will bring about a 78/100 (William Hill) shot and that looks like a worthy boost in price.
Celtic were well-nigh flawless at their Parkhead fortress in the Scottish Premiership last season, triumphing in 17 of their 19 league game at home, drawing the other two, and you don't get the impression that this is a squad who'll let complacency set in, especially under new management.
As such, I'm more than happy to back the Hoops to hit the ground running on Saturday, but to nudge up the price, I'll also side with their talisman Kyogo Furuhashi to score.
After banging in 20 league goals in his maiden season in Scotland, the Japanese striker continued to terrorise top-flight defences last term as he racked up 27 strikes, securing the premiership and cinch SPFL Top Scorer award in the process.
Naturally, Kyogo is the bookmakers' favourite to finish top of the scoring charts again this time around and the Celtic attacker will fancy his chances of opening his account against a Ross County side that shipped at least two goals in each of their four meetings with the champions last term.
With all that in mind, coupled with the fact this bet would have copped in 19 of the 34 league games that Kyogo started last season, siding with the same selection on Saturday seems like a sensible solution at 78/100 (William Hill).
I'll also have a go on another Bet Builder and side with the 4/5 (PaddyPower) on Celtic to win, Celtic to take the most corners and Ross County to receive the most cards.
The aforementioned combination clicked in three of Celtic's four wins over the Staggies last season and I see no reason to oppose a repeat this weekend in what is likely to be a party atmosphere at Parkhead.
This Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Ross County will be played on Aug 5, 2023 and kick off at 12:30. Check below for our tipsters best Celtic vs Ross County prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.