- Hoops Primed for Buddies Test
~~~~~~~~~~ Official TC Match Preview ~~~~~~~~~~
Daizen Maeda bagged Celtic's opener in the 2-0 win over Killie in the League Cup Semi-Final
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Wednesday, 18 January 2023
The Hoops host St Mirren tomorrow evening, looking to keep their perfect record at home in tact and bank another 3 points - not to mention get a small measure of revenge - as they eye an 11th straight league win at Paradise this season.
Just days after the Celts booked their place in the League Cup Final with victory over Kilmarnock - and a chance to lift that trophy for the 6th time in 7 years - attention immediately turns back once again to league duty and the visit of St Mirren.
The visitors have proven over the past couple of seasons that they must not be underestimated or taken for granted, as they've managed to produce a number of impressive results against the Hoops in recent times. In the past 6 meetings over the last 2 years, St Mirren have won twice and earned a share of the spoils once also.
Indeed, the last time these sides met, the Bhoys put in a lacklustre display and credit must be given for a gritty performance by the hosts on that occasion, which saw the Saints emerge with a 2-0 win in Paisley, back in September.
Giakoumakis slots home deep into added time to make it 2-0 at Hampden Park on Saturday
In fact, Steven Robinspon's side are the only domestic team to have gotten the better of Ange Postecoglou's Bhoys and are one of just three teams to keep a clean sheet against Celtic this season, along with Real Madrid and RB Leipzig in the Champions League. Illustrious company, indeed!
That was no fluke either, as St Mirren have one of the best 'home' records in the Premiership, having not lost there since the first day of the League campaign and are undefeated in the last 10 Premiership matches at home this season.
Away from Paisley however, they have struggled, picking up just 5 points on the road - a record only marginally better than Kilmarnock's on their travels.
The only away win the Buddies have had was back in August against United at Tannadice. That said, it should be noted that they've managed to take something away from 2 of their past 3 away games, earning draws against Livingston and Kilmarnock.
Coming to Parkhead though to take on the defending League Champions, who will be highly motivated and wanting to make the disappointment of the last meeting a distant memory is a big step up from a an away day in West Lothian or Ayrshire.
Aaron Mooy put in another composed shift in midfield in the League Cup Semi-Final
By the Numbers
- Celtic are looking to keep their perfect home league record in tact this season, having won all 10 previous matches at Paradise.
- In fact, the Hoops have been undefeated domestically at home in almost 2 years - the last visiting side to win at Parkhead was St Mirren (30 January 2021).
- Celtic have scored at least 2 goals in every home League game this season.
- The Hoops have also kept 3 clean sheets in the past 4 matches - the first time since the start of September.
- Both Celtic and St Mirren have not lost a game this season when they have scored first.
- Prior to the 1-0 loss to Hearts on Friday, St Mirren had been undefeated in 6 straight games - although had won just 1 of those.
- St Mirren have taken just 5 points from their travels - their only away win being 3-0 v United at Tannadice, back in August.
Joe Hart made a number of key saves in the Semi-Final win over Killie
On a positive note, Sead Hakšabanović, Tony Ralston, Stephen Welsh and James McCarthy have all returned to training, but will need to be closely assessed before any decision is made about the possibility of any of them being involved tomorrow evening.
Meanwhile, new signings Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi are keen to make their first appearance for the club, however Greg Taylor (hamstring) remains sidelined.
As for St Mirren, Marcus Fraser misses out once again through suspension, but both Ethan Erhahon and Charles Dunne are once again available after having served theirs.
The visitors are also likely to be without Mark O'Hara, who was forced off at the weekend in the first half against Hearts with a knock, as well as veterans Richard Tait (groin) and Declan Gallagher (back).
Referee: Steven McLean
The 41 year old whistleblower has taken charge of 226 Premiership games in his career. This will be his 4th time officiating Celtic this season, following the 9-0 win v Dundee United in August, the 6-1 win v Hibs in October and the 1-0 win against Aberdeen, just after the World Cup break.
Celtic's Overall Record
M: 34 W: 27 D: 3 L: 4
VAR: Andrew Dallas
~~~~ Head to Head ~~~~
P: 260 W: 179 D: 47 L: 34
Last 5 Meetings
L W D W W
~~~~ 2022/23 Form ~~~~
W W D W W ~ L D D D W
W D W W W ~ L D D D W