Celtic’s 1-0 win over Sarajevo in the Europa League play-offs may not have fully convinced, but it still takes them up to seven consecutive victories in all competitions, with the last three seeing them register clean sheets.
In fact, the Hoops have conceded just once in their past five road trips now as they won them all, with three of them ending 1-0, so the win to nil here feels inevitable.
Celtic To Win To Nil
St. Johnstone look like they’re in for a long, hard season. A lack of goals is the primary concern as they’ve managed just four from nine fixtures so far, losing five of the last six by 1-0 or 2-0 scorelines as these games saw a total of just seven goals.
On home turf alone, each of their past five matches have seen exactly one goal, with four of those coming this season. Manager Callum Davidson has even had to field questions over bringing his 38-year-old assistant Steven MacLean out of retirement to get them scoring again.
Celtic To Win 2-0
Celtic have kept a clean sheet in each of their past 10 meetings with the Saints across all competitions now, going back to November 2017, winning all but one of these including each of the last eight. Of those most recent eight encounters, four finished either 1-0 or 2-0, so one of those two scorelines seems eminently plausible in this one.
However, the 2-0 appears more likely given Celtic have won by at least two clear goals in six of the last seven head to heads, racking up an aggregate 26-0 scoreline.
Nir Bitton twisted his ankle midweek against Sarajevo, which is a blow as he was in excellent form, adding to a couple of others on the treatment table for the Hoops. Christopher Jullien, Albian Ajeti and James Forrest have all been sidelined recently, though Julien was back on the bench last time out and so this is hardly a crisis.
St. Johnstone will seek to replicate the blueprint laid down by Sarajevo midweek. The Bosnian outfit were clearly limited but frustrated Celtic for long periods, although the Hoops displayed little urgency despite the tie being played over just one leg.
Although the Saints have lost nine of their last 11 League encounters with the Old Firm duo, they’ve only actually trailed at the break in three of the past nine and one of five at McDiarmid Park, so the half-time/full-time market might be worth a pop here.