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Celtic logo
Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 16
Dec 6, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Celtic Park
Hibs logo
4 - 1
Oh (5', 55'), O'Riley (36'), Palma (51' pen.)
Palma (21'), McGregor (44')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Doidge (72')
Fish (84'), Molotnikov (86')

Preview: Celtic vs. Hibernian - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Hibernian, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Aiming to preserve their unbeaten status at the beginning of the domestic term, league leaders Celtic will welcome an in-form Hibernian to Celtic Park on Wednesday night in the Scottish Premiership.

The Hoops responded to another Champions League defeat by earning maximum points at St Johnstone on the weekend, while Hibernian continued their positive momentum with a success over Aberdeen.

Match preview

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers on October 4, 2023© Reuters

After extending their Champions League winless run to an extraordinary 15 matches with a 2-0 loss at Lazio last Tuesday, Scottish champions Celtic stretched their unbeaten spell in the Premiership to 15 contests by completing a second-half comeback at St Johnstone on Sunday afternoon.

Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers admitted he was the angriest he has ever been at half time as his side found themselves behind after 45 minutes due to a Diallang Jaiyesimi opener for the hosts, but second-period strikes from captain Callum McGregor, Matt O'Riley and James Forrest secured a 12th win of the league term.

A brace from Ciro Immobile for Lazio at Stadio Olimpico last week ensured that Celtic would not be participating in European football in the New Year, so the Hoops now have the task of focusing on domestic matters for the remainder of the season, with the Glasgow giants currently first in the Premiership standings, eight points ahead of Philippe Clement's Rangers.

Rodgers's men have a formidable record at Paradise Park - dropping only four points in their opening seven home matches - however strugglers Motherwell managed to grab a point at the home of the Bhoys on November 25, with a 90th-minute goal from Jonathan Obika cancelling out David Turnbull's penalty.

Two midfielders are leading the Golden Boot race at Celtic Park this season, with Denmark international O'Riley and Turnbull both bagging seven goals so far, and the former has recently explained how Pilates has allowed him to become more comfortable shooting on his weaker right foot, as seen on Sunday at McDiarmid Park.

Hibernian players pose for a team group photo before the match on August 23, 2023© Reuters

Hibernian have now recorded three-straight wins in the Premiership for the first time since February after a hard-fought 2-0 success over Barry Robson's out-of-form Aberdeen on Sunday at Easter Road, with goals either side of the break from summer signings Dylan Vente and Will Fish securing three points.

Although the scoreline suggests a relatively comfortable afternoon for Hibs, the hosts had their backs against the metaphorical wall for the majority of the second half, but a brilliant penalty save by veteran goalkeeper David Marshall from Dons striker Bojan Miovski was a real turning point in the 77th minute.

Since taking the reins at the club in September, Nick Montgomery has lost just twice as Hibs boss in 13 matches across all competitions, allowing the Edinburgh-based club to move up to fifth in the Premiership table, just two points behind Steven Naismith's third-placed Hearts.

Despite Wednesday's hosts and Rangers continuing their monopoly over the top-two positions in Scottish football, Hibernian managed to sneak into the qualifying rounds of the Europa Conference League earlier this term courtesy of a fifth-placed league finish last season, but an 8-0 loss over two legs to Unai Emery's Aston Villa prevented Hibs from making the continental group stage.

Montgomery's men have a poor recent record at Celtic Park - losing on their last three visits by an aggregate score of 11-2 - but the meeting between the two sides at Easter Road in October ended with a surprise share of the spoils, as 38-year-old Marshall produced a Man-of-the-Match display to keep out the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda.

Celtic Scottish Premiership form:

Celtic form (all competitions):

Hibernian Scottish Premiership form:

Hibernian form (all competitions):

Team News

Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates scoring their third goal on February 18, 2023© Reuters

Celtic manager Rodgers has provided an update on the fitness of Japanese attacker Reo Hatate in the build-up to Wednesday night, with the 26-year-old set to return to Scotland over the next week as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain.

The Hoops boss has been questioned over the omissions of both Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke in squads recently, with the former Liverpool coach stating that the pair need to do more in training in order to form part of his matchday plans.

After a productive loan spell at Aberdeen last season, centre-back Liam Scales has returned to Celtic Park and cemented his place alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers in the hosts' backline, with the Irishman set to start on Wednesday once again.

After serving a one-game suspension for his red card against Dundee, Lewis Miller will be welcomed back into the Hibernian side in Glasgow, probably at the expense of 16-year-old Rory Whittaker.

Hibs will be sweating over the fitness of defender Jordan Obita ahead of Wednesday's trip to Paradise Park, with the former Reading man sitting out of the win over Aberdeen on the weekend.

Harry McKirdy, Jake Doyle-Hayes, Chris Cadden and Adam Le Fondre all remain in the visitors' medical room as long-term absentees, although the latter is still leading his side's goalscoring charts with three Premiership strikes.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; A Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; O'Riley, McGregor, Turnbull; M Johnston, Palma, Furuhashi

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Marshall; Miller, Fish, Bushiri, Stevenson; Campbell, Levitt, Newell, Tavares; Boyle, Vente

SM words green background

We say: Celtic 3-0 Hibernian

Celtic were relatively close to an embarrassing slip-up at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, and the home supporters will not accept a similarly sluggish start from the Bhoys on Wednesday night.

Hibernian got away with handing Aberdeen a host of clear-cut chances last time out, but we feel that Montgomery's men will be punished for their defensive vulnerabilities at Celtic Park.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates scoring their third goal on February 18, 2023
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