Celtic v Ross County
Scottish Premiership. Kick off: Saturday 5.15pm. Live on Sky Sports 1
Celtic fans could be forgiven for being complacent when it comes to unfurling the league flag because there’ll be another one along in 12 months time, so don’t expect a full-house for this season’s curtain-raiser against Ross County.
For Neil Lennon the 2013-14 season provides the chance for him to etch his name into the club’s history as only the third manager to secure three titles on the trot. But his most important game this week isn’t this one. Despite wanting to get the season off to a winning start his eye will be firmly fixed on the return leg of the Champions League qualifying tie in Sweden on Wednesday which is precariously poised at 1-0 after the first 90 minutes.
With that in mind it’s going to be hard to second guess his starting XI so before you lump on the Hoops at at best price of 2/7 (Boylesports) you should check out the line-ups.
You should also consider Ross County’s recent result against the Scottish Champions. Their record in the last 6 meetings reads W2 D2 L2 – not bad for a side that was only promoted to the top flight for the first time in its history 12 months ago. Young boss Derek Adams is one to watch and has bolstered his squad with some interesting looking signings such as Brian McLean and Graham Carey as well as 4 Dutchmen. He’ll be aiming to repeat last season’s feats where he took his side to a top half finish. In the second half of the season they won just 3 points less than Celtic and if they can continue that form into this season they’ll be ones to watch.
11/1 (BetVictor, StanJames) on Ross County to win looks to be a shade on the generous side, especially when Celtic may not be at full-strength but it’d be a brave man to part with serious cash against Celtic at home.
With so much uncertainty surrounding the Celtic line-up value is going to be hard to find. It’s been a less than impressive pre-season for Celtic and they’ve looked short on ideas going forward. Having not suitably replaced Gary Hooper yet they’re relying on Samaras and Commons make them tick and if they’re rested, which is very possible, then I wouldn’t expect to see too many goals. Ross County have struggled for goals in pre-season too so under 2.5 goals here could be the way to go. BetVictor offer the best odds at 29/20.
Selectabet’s Best Bet
Under 2.5 goals 29/20 BetVictor