Kilmarnock vs Celtic
Competition: Ladbrokes Premiership
Venue: Rugby Park
Date: Saturday; March 19; 2016
Kick off: 12:30 GMT
Referee: Alan Muir
Lowly Kilmarnock will host the leaders Celtic on Saturday at Rugby Park. In their last ten away games Celtic have shown positive form, losing just twice, scoring 20 goals and conceding 11. The Bhoys have halted a brief slump in form that saw them drop points with draws against Hamilton and Dundee, by recording a 2-1 victory over Partick Thistle last weekend.
That was a welcome victory for Ronny Deila’s men as Aberdeen are now just a point behind them in the title race, albeit having played a game more.
Fifty one years ago, Killie were basking in the glory of being crowned the champions of Scotland. It remains the only time that the men from Rugby Park ruled Scottish football and it is also a far cry from where the current crop of players find themselves.
Lee Clark‘s side are rooted to the bottom of the table, having only just avoided a relegation playoff in 2014-15, there is a growing belief that they could fall through the trapdoor at the end of the campaign.
Home advantage may be in their favour, but apart from that, everything points to a win for the away side. The Hoops have won eight of their last 10 away clashes against Killie, the visitors are uncontested favourites here.
Kilmarnock’s Premiership record: P30– W7– D7– L16
Celtic’s Premiership record: P29– W20– D6– L3
Kilmarnock‘s Recent form (All competitions): L-L-L-D-L
Celtic’s Recent form (All competitions): W-W-D-D-W
Head to Head Stats(Last 6 matches):
SPL 21-11-2015 Celtic 0 : 0 Kilmarnock
SPL 12-08-2015 Kilmarnock 2 : 2 Celtic
SPL 15-04-2015 Celtic 4 : 1 Kilmarnock
SPL 05-01-2015 Kilmarnock 0 : 2 Celtic
SPL 26-10-2014 Celtic 2 : 0 Kilmarnock
SPL 14-03-2014 Kilmarnock 0 : 3 Celtic
Kilmarnock team news:
- Captain Stevie Smith will again lead the side out, despite playing with a hip complaint.
- Defenders David Syme (fractured leg), Darryl Westlake (ankle) and Mark Connolly (hip) remain out alongside winger Chris Johnston (knee), while Jamie Hamill, Ross Barbour and Scott Robinson, who are no longer in Killie manager’s plans.
Celtic team news:
- Winger Gary Mackay-Steven is expected to shake off the ankle problem, which forced him to missing training on Thursday.
- Midfielder Stefan Johansen returns from an ankle knock and Dedryck Boyata is back from a ban.
- Centre-back Jozo Simunovic remains sidelined with a knee injury.
Kilmarnock predicted starting line-up: MacDonald; Smith, Findlay, Balatoni, Hodson; Tope, Dicker, Kiltie, McKenzie; Faubert, Magennis
Match facts (via Opta):
- Celtic are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 matches (Premier League).
- Celtic have scored at least 2 goals in their last11 away matches against Kilmarnock in all competitions.
- Kilmarnock have been losing at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches (Premier League).
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 7 ofCeltic‘s last 8 away games (Premier League).
Prediction: Kilmarnock 0-2 Celtic