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The Celtic horror show goes on with a second 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague within the space of a few weeks on Thursday, leaving them crashing out of Europe and almost certain to finish bottom of their group.
They’ve now won just twice in nine appearances since the October international break, losing on four occasions, and though the other defeats were inflicted by quality outfits Rangers and Milan, confidence must be at an all-time low as the pressure of 10 in a row appears to be stifling them.
The contrast between Celtic’s defence and their Old Firm rival’s backline is stark, and that’s ultimately where the difference has rested in the title race.
Neil Lennon brought Hatem Elhamed and Christopher Jullien back into their defence midweek on the right-hand side, to go along with regular fixtures Kristoffer Ajer and Diego Laxalt, but it didn’t do much to improve their prospects.
Shane Duffy was relegated to the bench for the third game in a row after a shocking start to the season, but Celtic conceded seven times across those outings against Motherwell, Hibs and Sparta Prague as the Brighton loanee isn’t the only one to blame.
Indeed, they’ve conceded an average of 2.3 goals per game over their last nine, shipping 21 in total and at least twice in seven of these.
Over 3.5 Goals
There should certainly be goals in this clash then. Both teams have scored in all but one of the Hoops’ last eight matches, including high-scoring stalemates with Aberdeen, Lille and Hibernian.
They haven’t had too many problems finding the net themselves though, with seven of these games also featuring at least four goals in total, with as many as five strikes in three of the last four.
The four head to heads between Celtic and Ross County since the start of last season have yielded a combined 19 goals, as Under 3.5 Goals landed on three occasions, with each featuring a minimum of three strikes.
Celtic should have plenty of joy going forwards as only rock-bottom Hamilton have conceded more league goals than Ross County this term, but at the same time they’re perfectly capable of shipping them in at the other end too.