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Celtic’s misery continues and it’s now three defeats on the bounce following their midweek defeat in Milan.
Although their latest outing had no bearing on their chances of European progression, a solid performance could have helped boost morale and the four goals they shipped after a bright start underlined their defensive deficiencies.
Neil Lennon is under pressure after winning just two of Celtic’s past 11 outings (W2-D3-L6), during which time they’ve managed just a solitary clean sheet.
In fact, they conceded at least twice in nine of these games, and a whopping 17 over the last six alone, with goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas the latest to incur scrutiny over his performances.
Celtic may be all at sea at the back, but they still represent a threat going forwards. Their early strikes against Milan means that both teams have scored in eight of their last 10 now, as these same eight matches each featured a minimum of four goals.
Failure to score against Ross County in the League Cup last weekend was a rare domestic blank, with the Hoops still finding the net in 40 of 42 domestic encounters going back to October 2019, as the other exception was Rangers this term.
Both Teams To Score
Celtic may have won all nine meetings with St. Johnstone across all competitions since 2018/19, registering clean sheets in each, but it’s hard to make a case for another shutout here given their recent displays.
St. Johnstone arrive in a good vein of form and having gone unbeaten in 10 appearances in all competitions since early October, winning six of these, they’ll fancy their chances of causing problems.
They’ve found the net at least twice in three of their last four, as both teams scored in each, and that appears the best way to go in this game.
Despite all the negativity, Celtic’s home league form remains pretty solid. Excluding a pair of Old Firm defeats over the past 12 months, they’ve won still won 20 on the trot at Celtic Park.
That leaves us reluctant to get behind the visitors here, even if they have now put together a run of four wins from five unbeaten trips.
Admittedly, two of those came in cup action against lower league outfits Kelty Hearts and Peterhead, but 5-3 and 2-1 wins over Hamilton and Motherwell, as well as a 2-2 stalemate with Hibernian suggests they should register on the scoreboard.