MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 08:51:48| >> :120:57408:57408:
Aug 2, 2020 at 4.30pm UK at Celtic Park
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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Brian Rice pictured at Hibs in 2009
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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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