Celtic vs Ross CountyScottish League Cup, KO: 14:00 Nov 29, 2020, Celtic Park
NEIL LENNON has suffered another week from hell and it's hard to see the Celtic boss surviving if Ross County pile on the misery by dumping the Hoops out of the Betfred League Cup.
After last week's draw with Hibs left the champions 11 points behind Rangers in the Premiership, their Europa League hopes ended with a disastrous 4-1 loss away to Sparta Prague on Thursday.
More calamitous defending helped the Czechs run riot and brought up a full house for my predictions as I thought it would be an open game with plenty of goals.
Despite suffering an 8-2 aggregate thrashing from Sparta, the board are sticking by Lennon for the time being but he would struggle to survive a loss at home to struggling Ross County in the Cup.
The Staggies are in even worse form than the Hoops, with cup wins over minnows Arbroath, Elgin and Stirling their only victories in the last 11 matches. They crashed 3-1 to a 10-man Kilmarnock side last weekend in the league and head to Parkhead with morale low.
So it would be a surprise if they beat Lennon's side, even with Celtic in crisis and shipping goals to almost every team they face just now.
How the bookies view it
Ross County are as big as 22/1 with William Hill to win in 90 minutes, which may attract a few punters looking for a bonkers bet. Even the draw is 8/1 with McBookie while Celtic are a best 1/7 with Skybet. To qualify, the Hoops are 1/20 with Bet365 while County's odds shorten to 10/1 with the same firm.
Recent head to head
Ross County were the last side to beat Celtic in the League Cup, winning 3-1 in the 2016 semi-final thanks to a red card for Efe Ambrose (below). But they haven't won against the Hoops since then, losing 10 and drawing two.
Celtic have won the last seven, including a 5-0 victory in Dingwall earlier this season, and the Staggies haven't even scored on their last five visits to Parkhead.
Players to watch
Lennon will be tempted to make changes but should still pick a strong side as he knows he needs a win and Thursday's clash with Milan is now a dead rubber. Aussie playmaker Tom Rogic came off the bench in Prague and could start here so he appeals at 11/5 with McBookie for anytime scorer.
County boast some decent strikers and Ross Stewart could get some joy against the dodgy Hoops defence. He's 17/4 with McBookie for a goal at Parkhead.
Anything else catch the eye?
Lennon will demand a response from his side and I expect Celtic to grab a few goals. They have scored three or more in the last five meetings with County and over 2.5 Hoops goals pays 4/6 with Betfred while over 3.5 strikes is 7/4 with the same firm.
There has been a Celtic goal inside the first 15 minutes in three of the last four games between these sides so go for Lennon's team to be leading after 15 minutes at 12/5 with William Hill.
Both teams to score is 11/8 with McBookie and despite County's dismal record at Parkhead of late that might be worth a punt given Celtic are defending so poorly.
This Scottish League Cup match between Celtic and Ross County will be played on Nov 29, 2020 and kick off at 14:00. Check below for our tipsters best Celtic vs Ross County prediction.