Livingston

Livingston vs Celtic

, KO: 12:00 Oct 6, 2019, Tony Macaroni Arena
Celtic

IF you had said a few years ago that Celtic would be dreading a trip to Livingston's Tony Macaroni Arena then most people would have laughed at you.

But it says everything about Livi's incredible rise from League One to the top flight – and the team spirit fostered by David Hopkin then carried on by Gary Holt – that it's a venue Scotland's top teams hate visiting.

Part of that is down to the plastic pitch but it's mostly due to the Lions' ferocious commitment and a direct of style of play that often catches rivals off guard.

Rangers lost here early last season and only just managed to scrape through this season's League Cup quarter-final in another bruising battle that saw Joe Aribo suffer a horrendous head wound.

Celtic have also found the stadium, known colloquially as the Spaghettihad, a tough place to come, drawing 0-0 in West Lothian last autumn when Brendan Rodgers was in charge.

Holt's side held the Hoops to another stalemate at Celtic Park in April so Neil Lennon's men know they will face one of the trickiest games of their season.

The champions dropped their first domestic points last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Hibs and will need to be on top of their game to avoid another slip up here, especially on the back of a draining Europa League game with Cluj on Thursday night.

The one thing that might help the Hoops this time is that Lennon is more pragmatic than Rodgers and will know his side may need to go direct at times on the terrible artificial surface.

Rodgers never strayed from his possession-based game, no matter how poor the pitch, and that worked against Celtic in this fixture last season.

But Lennon will probably mix things up and I thought he might start with Vakoun Bayo up front due to his physicality. But he has made just one change from the side that beat Cluj, with Moritz Bauer replacing Hatem Abd Elhamed at right back.

Odsonne Édouard leads the line but is A best evens at Betway to score at any time. Instead try defender Christopher Jullien at 9/1 with Paddy Power in a game that may be decided on set-pieces.

Given two of the three games between these sides ended in a stalemate last term, the 11/2 Bet365 offer on a draw here looks good value. But I fancy the Hoops to shade it and a one-goal winning margin appeals at 14/5 with Boylesports.

Livingston love to get stuck in and there were six bookings in that fiery cup tie against Rangers. This one could be tasty as well so over six cards a little overpriced at 6/1 with William Hill.

Lions striker Lyndon Dykes has been in fine form this season but has still collected more cards than goals. He has five yellows and one red to his name already so looks decent value at 15/8 with Bet365 to collect another here.

If Livingston are to get a goal it's likely to come from him and I wouldn't rule it out as Celtic haven't been keeping many clean sheets this season. Dykes looks overpriced at 13/2 with Paddy Power in the anytime scorer market.

This match between Livingston and Celtic will be played on Oct 6, 2019 and kick off at 12:00

Livingston vs Celtic Betting Tips & Predictions
One-goal Celtic winning margin
14/5
Boylesports
Christopher Jullien anytime scorer
9/1
PaddyPower
Lyndon Dykes to be carded
15/8
Bet365

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