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Motherwell may have beaten Glentoran FC from Northern Ireland 5-1 at home on Thursday, but they benefited from a 52nd-minute red card for their visitors – before any of the goals were scored – and the result can’t mask the sort of form they’ve been in this year.
In domestic competitions alone, Stephen Robinson’s side are a pitiful W1-D7-L7 since late January, as their only victory came over Ross County on home turf.
Neil Lennon’s men were also involved in European action midweek, unexpectedly crashing out of the Champions League to Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros. A third straight exit in Champions League qualifiers will no doubt see plenty of recrimination take place, with Lennon’s position in the dugout being questioned and the coach in turn questioning the commitment of some players.
However, European disappointment has become a familiar theme for the Hoops in recent times and it hasn’t affected their domestic efforts, so we’d expect them to return to winning ways here.
Celtic To Win To Nil
Celtic have in fact won 31 of their last 34 home league matches and registered 22 clean sheets (20 win to nils). The only side to beat them over this period were Rangers back in December, who were also the only team to score more than once against Celtic as they ran out 2-1 winners.
That certainly encourages us to turn our attention towards that same win to nil market, as Motherwell have hardly set the league ablaze going forwards.
The visitors have frankly been very dull to watch in the new campaign, with four of five games so far featuring fewer than two goals, including three 1-0 losses against Ross County, Dundee Utd and Hamilton, as well as a goalless stalemate with Hibs.
We’re not convinced they’ll keep the scoring down here, but they lack the tools at the sharp end and given they’ve scored just two goals in five games this term, the home win to nil looks like easy money.
Indeed, Motherwell were taken apart 4-0 when visiting Rangers in a pre-season friendly last month, while the last time they encountered Celtic they also went down 4-0 in February.
The Hoops have won to nil in seven of nine matches hosting Motherwell since May 2016 now across all competitions, conceding just two goals in total, so we’d be very surprised if Celtic’s backline was breached.
Although the visitors have shipped an average of one goal per game so far this season, we can’t see Celtic failing to score a minimum of two here.
Excluding that aforementioned defeat to Old Firm rivals Rangers, the Hoops have scored at least twice in all 16 home league games since May, as well as a minimum three times in each of the five this calendar year (averaging 4.2 goals per game).
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