Kilmarnock vs CelticScottish Premiership, KO: 19:45 Feb 2, 2021, Rugby Park
CELTIC fans wanted to see a new manager in the dugout for their trip to Rugby Park and have got their wish – but it's Kilmarnock gaffer Alex Dyer and not Neil Lennon who will watch this game at home on the telly.
Dyer was binned after his side threw away a 2-0 lead to crash to defeat at home to St Johnstone on Saturday, a result that left them just five points clear of rock-bottom Hamilton.
At the same time Celtic's season continued its death spiral with a 2-1 loss to St Mirren at Parkhead, leading an exasperated support to intensify calls for Lennon to be sacked.
But the board are still refusing to wield the axe even though hopes of a 10th successive title have disappeared with Rangers 23 points ahead at the top and the Hoops now having just two games in hand.
Lennon ripped into his players after the Buddies defeat, accusing them of letting him down, so it will be interesting to see if they down tools or respond with a fired-up display at Rugby Park.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to head
Celtic are unbeaten in eight games against Kilmarnock, winning seven, but drew 1-1 on their last visit to Rugby Park earlier this season (below). Their recent record in Ayrshire isn't great, winning on just two of their last five visits with two of those games ending in defeats.
Players to watch
I tipped Leigh Griffiths for a goal at the weekend only for Lennon to hook the striker at half-time then rip into him after the game. I'd be surprised if he started at Rugby Park so Odsonne Edoaurd (below) looks a better shout for a goal at evens with Paddy Power given he has scored in his last two games.
Nicke Kabamba caused Celtic plenty of problems in the draw at Rugby Park back in the summer. He has gone 11 games without a goal but might spark to life once more against the Hoops and is 4/1 at Paddy Power to net. He's also 12/1 with McBookie to score a header and a decent 6/4 just to have a shot on target.
Anything else catch the eye?
Both teams to score has come up on Celtic's last two visits to Rugby Park and the bet landed for me in the weekend loss to St Mirren. I thought it would be shorter than the 21/20 on offer at McBookie here.
Both defences have been poor of late so I also like the look of over 1.5 first-half goals at 13/10 with TonyBet. Backing over 2.5 goals came up for me on Celtic's last road trip at Livingston and I fancy it again here. The odds aren't great though at 4/6 with McBookie.
Celtic haven't been winning a lot of corners since ditching wingers to go with a diamond formation. That makes the 19/20 on offer at TonyBet for Killie +2.5 in the corner handicaps worth a look.
This Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic will be played on Feb 2, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best Kilmarnock vs Celtic prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.