Heart of Midlothian

Heart of Midlothian vs Celtic

, KO: 12:00 Mar 3, 2024, Tynecastle

CELTIC can ill afford any more slip-ups ahead of what's shaping up as a season-defining trip to Ibrox in April and will need to be at their best to see off the challenge of third-placed Heart of Midlothian at their Tynecastle fortress.

The Hoops returned to top form in midweek as they routed Dundee 7-1 at Parkhead, with striker Adam Idah bringing up a scorer bet for me. It looked like they were returning to the summit with rivals Rangers trailing 1-0 at Kilmarnock but Philippe Clement's side turned it around to make it 11 wins in a row since losing the last derby.

Looking at Rangers' fixtures, it's hard to see them dropping any points before they host the Hoops in April so Brendan Rodgers' men will need to be perfect themselves in the next three SPFL Premiership games.

Celtic won't want the gap to get any bigger than two points but they face a tough challenge in the capital against a Hearts side who haven't lost at home since Rangers beat them in early December.

An 11-game unbeaten run came to an end at Ibrox a fortnight ago and there was a bit of a hangover from that 5-0 thrashing when the Jambos could only draw at home to Hibernian in the derby on Wednesday night.

But Heart of Midlothian are still 12 points clear of Kilmarnock in third place and will fancy their chances of putting a huge hole in Celtic's title hopes after beating them 2-0 at Parkhead in mid-December.

How the bookies view it

Heart of Midlothian look a bit overpriced at 11/2 with Coral given Celtic have been so inconsistent this season and toiled in their last away game at Motherwell. But the bookies are banking on the Hoops reproducing their slick midweek display as Rodgers' side are just 13/25 at Unibet. The draw wouldn't be a huge surprise and that's priced 18/5 at QuinnBet.

Recent head to head

Celtic turned in arguably their most polished performance of the season when they won 4-1 at Tynecastle in October but then produced one of their worst when Heart of Midlothian got their revenge with a 2-0 win in Glasgow. Tynecastle has been a happy hunting ground of late for the Hoops with wins on their last five visits since a 2-1 loss in Ange Postecoglou's first domestic game in 2021.

Players to watch

It's hard to look past Lawrence Shankland for a Heart of Midlothian goal with the captain's midweek strike taking his tally to 27 for the season. The striker has netted in both games with Celtic this season and is 11/5 at Paddy Power for a repeat, which looks overpriced.

Celtic have looked much more dynamic up front since Idah's arrival on loan from Norwich in the January window and he has got off to a flier with five goals. The Irishman is 6/4 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer after netting three times in his last two outings.

Anything else catch the eye?

Celtic aren't keeping a lot of clean sheets at the moment and even conceded to demoralised Dundee after the Dark Blues had gone down to 10 men. So it's no great surprise to see BTTS at a best 8/11 with QuinnBet but combining it with over 2.5 goals boosts the odds to evens at William Hill.

The Hoops usually dominate the corner count but have gone off the boil a bit of late, with the tally even in their last two games against Motherwell and Dundee. That makes me think the Jambos might be worth a punt in the corner handicap, with Hearts +2 paying 11/10 at Bet365. It might be safer going for over 11 match corners at the same price after the last meeting at Parkhead produced 21.

This fixture if often fiery so the card markets are also worth a look. Celtic full-back Alistair Johnston always gets stuck in and he's a tempting 5/1 at Bet365 to pick up a seventh card this season.

This match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic will be played on Mar 3, 2024 and kick off at 12:00. Check below for our tipsters best Heart of Midlothian vs Celtic prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.

Heart of Midlothian vs Celtic Betting Tips & Predictions
BTTS and over 2.5 goals
William Hill
Over 11 corners
Alistair Johnston to be carded

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