MX23RW : Wednesday, August 12 15:15:50| >> :120:8926:8926:
Aug 2, 2020 at 4.30pm UK at Celtic Park
CelticCeltic
5-1
HamiltonHamilton Academical
Edouard (20', 49', 53'), Frimpong (31'), Klimala (90')
Taylor (85')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Martin (34')
Martin (17'), Callachan (36'), Ogboe (55')

Preview: Celtic vs. Hamilton Academical - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Hamilton Academical, including team news and predicted lineups.

Celtic will begin their Scottish Premiership title defence on Sunday afternoon when they play host to Hamilton Academical for the first round of fixtures in the 2020-21 campaign.

Celtic stormed to the title with relative ease once again last season, whereas Hamilton just managed to stave off relegation when the campaign was curtailed.


Match preview

Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on July 21, 2020© Reuters

Bayern Munich have now been crowned Bundesliga champions eight times in a row, Juventus recently clinched their ninth Serie A title on the bounce, and now it is Celtic's turn to try to secure an unprecedented 10th straight triumph in the Scottish top division.

Neil Lennon's side finished last season a whopping 13 points ahead of fierce rivals Rangers, albeit having played a game more, and Celtic will no doubt feel confident about their chances of finishing atop the rankings once again this time around.

Lennon's men travelled to France for the first half of their pre-season, but Celtic's time abroad was nothing to write home about as they drew with Nice before suffering defeats to Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain, with former Bhoys striker Moussa Dembele netting for Lyon against his old club.

Upon their return to familiar surroundings, Celtic rounded off their pre-season with comfortable victories over Ross County and Hibernian as the Bhoys look to make history in the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership campaign.

Celtic won nine of their 10 league games in 2020 before the season was abruptly ended, and Lennon's side have tasted victory in 31 of their last 34 Scottish Premiership games at Celtic Park, with their solitary home defeat last season coming against Rangers back in December.

In contrast, Hamilton finished four points clear of relegated Hearts and can now look forward to a seventh consecutive season of Scottish Premiership football.

The Accies managed to string together a four-game unbeaten run just before the season was curtailed, including a historic 1-0 win at Rangers in the penultimate game of the campaign before victory by the same scoreline against Kilmarnock ensured their survival.

Brian Rice will no doubt want to see his players carry that momentum forward into the opening weekend, but Celtic have won the last 12 meetings between the two sides and have only lost to Hamilton once in 27 matches.

Avoiding relegation will be the bare minimum for Hamilton once again this time around, but Rice's men will be facing an uphill struggle this weekend against a Celtic side looking to etch their name in the history books.


Team News

Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard pictured in February 2020© Reuters

New arrival Vasilis Barkas is expected to be handed his debut in goal for Celtic, with the 26-year-old having just made the switch to Scotland from Greek outfit AEK Athens.

Lennon opted for a 3-5-2 system for the second half of last season but may revert back to a 4-2-3-1 here, which would most likely see Odsonne Edouard lead the line despite speculation linking him with a move elsewhere, although fellow striker Leigh Griffiths has notched up nine goals in this fixture.

Southampton loanee Mohamed Elyounoussi is in line to start on the left-hand side of attack, and Greg Taylor will be hoping to shake off a knock in time to occupy the same side of defence.

As for Hamilton, captain Brian Easton is recovering from ankle surgery and will not be back out on the pitch for at least another few weeks.

David Templeton is also not expected to feature despite having made a return to training, while Will Collar faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a shin injury.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Barkas; Frimpong, Jullien, Ajer, Taylor; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard

Hamilton possible starting lineup:
Williams; McKenna, Fjortoft, Hamilton, McMann; Hughes, Smith, Martin, Cunningham; Moyo, Ogboe


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Celtic 4-0 Hamilton

Both of these clubs finished the 2019-20 campaign strongly and will be in desperate need of fast starts for entirely different reasons here. However, Celtic are enjoying a period of unparalleled dominance in the Scottish football scene and we cannot see any other result than a straightforward victory for the champions this weekend.


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Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting that at least one team will not score (BTTS - no) in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.BTTS No:data

Who will win Sunday's Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Hamilton Academical?

Celtic
Draw
Hamilton Academical
Celtic
84.3%
Draw
3.9%
Hamilton Academical
11.8%
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Brian Rice pictured at Hibs in 2009
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Brian Rice calls for positivity ahead of Celtic clash
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Hibernian33007259
2RangersRangers22004046
3Ross County22002026
4Celtic21106244
5Dundee UnitedDundee Utd31112204
6St Mirren210113-23
7St Johnstone10101101
8Kilmarnock201123-11
9Aberdeen100101-10
10Motherwell200202-20
11Livingston200215-40
12Hamilton AcademicalHamilton200216-50

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