Dundee Utd rallied to strike twice late on and claim a 2-1 win over Ross County on Wednesday, but it’s hard to pitch that result as a real turning point, having lost each of their previous six league games.
They only managed to net four goals across this entire seven-game spell, including 1-0 and 3-0 defeats to Rangers and Celtic respectively.
In fact, since returning to the Premiership last season, Dundee Utd have only managed the solitary goal in five clashes with the Hoops.
That did however come here at Parkhead back in September, and despite Celtic holding the best defensive record in the division this term, clean sheets have been in short supply for Ange Postecoglou’s side of late.
Across all competitions, Celtic have shut their opponents out in just two of seven appearances, as even the likes of bottom-three sides Ross County and St. Johnstone, as well as third-tier strugglers Alloa Athletic managed to score past them.
The midfield and attack have been boosted this month with the arrivals of Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi, as well as Matt O’Riley, though defensive reinforcement has been limited to the return of Christopher Jullien after a long injury lay-off.
Still, despite those new signings, Celtic are somewhat depleted at the moment and especially in midfield. Ideguchi and Callum McGregor both suffered injuries in the recent cup win over Alloa Athletic, joining David Turnbull on the sidelines, while Tom Rogic is away with the Australia squad. Further forwards, Maeda is also on international duty, while Kyogo Furuhashi and Albion Ajeti are currently injured.
There should be little concern over Celtic’s attacking prowess however. Georgios Giakoumakis appears to be finally finding his feet with goals in Celtic’s past two games, O’Riley was highly impressive on his debut against Hearts, while Jota, James Forrest and Liel Abada provide ample support from out wide.
The Hoops have some serious momentum behind them now, losing just once in 22 appearances as even that came against Leverkusen in Europe.
That includes maximum points in 13 of 15 unbeaten league games, with 12 seeing them lead at both half time and full time.
Moreover, excluding results against the bottom four in the table, Dundee Utd have trailed at both the break and the final whistle in five of their last seven.
CELTIC/CELTIC - HT/FT