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Celtic may retain those three games in hand but following a morale-crushing defeat in the Old Firm derby, further dropped points at home to Hibernian leaves them 21 points off the pace.
The title already appears gone and the Hoops must now regroup and face down a Livingston side that have been in excellent form.
The visitors have now won 10 of their last 11 outings in all competitions, including a current run of eight on the trot under new boss David Martindale, while eight of the 10 victories in total came by more than a single goal.
That includes a 3-0 triumph over fourth-placed Hibs in their last away match, though it’s worth noting that they’ve enjoyed a kind fixture list beyond that game and this clash will test their upturn in form.
Livingston have lost three of four winless encounters with the three sides above them this term, holding Rangers to a draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena and losing on their travels to each of Aberdeen, Celtic and the Gers.
It was a similar story last term as they took four points from two encounters with the Hoops on home turf, while they were obliterated 4-0 at Celtic Park, in addition to a pair of defeats at Ibrox and another when visiting the Dons.
Livingston +1 Handicap
Despite that record on the road to top sides, Livingston have been excellent under new management and are worth getting behind to extend their unbeaten run, especially considering Celtic’s selection problems.
Neil Lennon’s side were criticized for a controversial trip to Dubai prior to the stalemate with Hibs, with the manager and 13 of his players forced into self-isolation having been in contact with centre-back Christopher Jullien, who contracted coronavirus.
Celtic may have to name the same line-up here and look depleted in attack particularly, with Odsonne Edouard, Leigh Griffiths, Albian Ajeti, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Ryan Christie all expected to miss out again.
Livingston should certainly have fresh legs following the postponement of their clash with Aberdeen on Wednesday due to a water-logged pitch.
It’s also worth noting that of Hibs’ four encounters with the three sides above them this term, only Rangers at Ibrox (2-0) were able to down them by more than a single goal.
With that in mind, they get our backing against a depleted Celtic outfit that haven’t been at their best this season in any case and must be lacking not just in confidence but motivation with the title having slipped away.