- Bhoys Look to Land Marker Against Killie
~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~
Kyogooooaaalll! The Japanese striker thumps home the late equalizer to keep Celtic's lead in tact
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Saturday, 7 January 2023
The Hoops are back home on Saturday, for the first of two back to back meetings with Kilmarnock over the next week.
Manager Ange Postecoglou's Bhoys are sitting 9 points clear at the top of the table coming into this match and will be satisfied with nothing less than another 3 points in the pursuit of securing the Premiership crown once again.
Beyond the obvious, this is important for 2 reasons.
Firstly, to get back into the winning habit after the 2-2 draw earlier this week put an end to a 12 match winning streak and secondly, the small matter of these same sides meeting again next week in the League Cup Semi-Final.
The last time these sides met, Celtic put on a clinic of attacking football and ran out convincing 5-0 winners, with Kyogo, Jota, Jenz, Starfelt and Giakoumakis all getting on the scoresheet, back in August. No doubt Postecoglou will be hoping for another strong performance ahead of the trip to Hampden Park, next weekend.
Daizen Maeda lashes home to put the Bhoys 1-0 up in the derby game this week
Meanwhile Derek McInnes side have picked up 8 points in their last 5 games, including wins over Hibernian and Aberdeen, which has seen them rise from being rooted at the bottom to currently sitting in 9th place on the ladder coming into this match.
No doubt Killie will be looking to put some further distance between themselves and the relegation dogfight that is emerging at the foot of the table.
Obviously, they would have preferred to have taken more than the 0-0 result from their last match with St Mirren, after the Paisley side had been reduced to 10 men early in the first half, but it was not to be.
Greg Taylor will be missing when the Hoops take on his old club this weekend
By the Numbers
- Celtic are undefeated in all meetings with Kilmarnock since 2018 and have not lost to the Ayrshire side at Parkhead for over a decade (October 2012).
- The Hoops have scored 17 goals in the last 15min (incl injury time) of league games this season - which is already better than the total from the entire of 2021/22.
- Celtic will be looking to keep this season's perfect record at home in the league in tact, having won all 9 matches so far and are undefeated in almost 2 years.
- Kilmarnock have the worst away record in the Premiership, having picked up just 2 points and scored 4 goals in total from their travels away from Rugby Park.
August: Gorgios Giakoumakis' put an acrobatic seal on a 5 star display when these sides last met
Ange Postecoglou could call upon David Turnbull after his return from suspension and Tony Ralston could also come into contention after his recent back troubles.
However Greg Taylor (hamstring), Sead Hakšabanović (foot), Stephen Welsh (niggle) and James McCarthy (hamstring) are all sidelined.
As for Killie, Kyle Lafferty will serve the last match of his suspension and Innes Cameron is out with hamstring troubles, while it remains unclear if Jeriel Dorsett will have regained enough fitness to be considered.
Referee: Nick Walsh
Walsh made his top flight debut in April 2016 and has officiated 128 times in the Premiership since then. This will be his 3rd time taking charge of a Celtic game this season, after the 4-0 win over Sevco in September and the dramatic 4-3 win over Hearts in October, when VAR was first introduced.
Celtic's Overall Record
M: 25 W: 20 D: 4 L: 1
VAR: Kevin Clancy
~~~~ Head to Head ~~~~
P: 252 W: 166 D: 56 L: 30
Last 5 Meetings
W W W D W
~~~~ 2022/23 Form ~~~~
D W W W W ~ D W D L W
D W W W W ~ D W D L W