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Following a run of six consecutive defeats between late November and mid-January, Dundee Utd have seen their form pick up with a W3-D6-L2 record over 90 minutes.
However, one of those victories did come over Championship side Partick Thistle in the previous round of this competition, while one of those defeats was inflicted by Celtic themselves.
That leaves the hosts with four defeats from six meetings against the Hoops since the start of last season, during which time they managed to score just the single goal.
Their league record this term also demonstrates their weakness in attack, with only bottom-two outfits St. Johnstone and Dundee scoring fewer goals.
Moreover, the fact that only the top four have conceded fewer goals further demonstrates their emphasis on keeping games tight.
Celtic To Win And Under 3.5 Goals
With that in mind, it comes as little surprise that 24 of Dundee Utd’s 34 matches in all competitions since the start of August have seen fewer than three goals over 90 minutes, including seven of the past nine.
Even three of their last four meetings with Celtic have gone under that same threshold, and with home advantage, they should make Ange Postecoglou’s men work hard for the win.
Still, Celtic have now won 25 of 29 unbeaten domestic matches since late September, so it would be a major surprise if the hosts can pull off an upset. 21 of those games (including 17 of the victories) saw fewer than four goals, so coupling the Celtic win and under 3.5 goals together makes sense.
The visitors have had to deal with a number of problems on the injury front this term, though that shouldn’t hinder them here. Goalkeeper Joe Hart and centre-backs Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt have been solid in defence, while some excellent recruitment both in the summer and then in January has eased the burden.
David Turnbull and Kyogo Furuhashi are nearing returns from injury, but this game comes too early for the duo, though the Hoops have coped well during their lay-offs with both having been key players earlier in the campaign.
CELTIC TO WIN AND UNDER 3.5 GOALS
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