MX23RW : Saturday, September 25 10:22:40| >> :60:1736:1736:
Aug 30, 2020 at 3pm UK at Celtic Park
CelticCeltic
3-0
MotherwellMotherwell
Forrest (40'), Ajeti (74'), Jullien (90+2')
Brown (22')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Lamie (55'), Grimshaw (89')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Scottish Premiership fixture between Celtic and Motherwell, including team news and predicted lineups.

Celtic play host to Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday afternoon looking to bounce back from the disappointment of exiting the Champions League earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the visitors, without a win in the top flight this season, prepared for this contest with a dominant victory over Glentoran in the Europa League first qualifying round.


Match preview

Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on August 22, 2020© Reuters

After seeing his team's schedule disrupted by the coronavirus misdemeanour of Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Celtic boss Neil Lennon would have hoped that a successful Champions League qualifying campaign would get the club quickly back on track.

However, the 2-1 home defeat to Ferencvaros in midweek has left the long-reigning champions without participation in the group stages for another season, raising question marks regarding the future of the Northern Irishman.

Lennon has not been shy in acknowledging that some of his players have requested to leave the club before the end of the summer window, something which could be perceived as a plea for transfer funds to be raised for targets who wish to make the switch to Glasgow.

Nevertheless, even with two games in hand on leaders Rangers, Lennon must ensure that Celtic do not lose further ground on their city rivals during what already feels like a make-or-break period.

Although Celtic are clear favourites to prevail this weekend, their opponents will feel like they have turned a corner after their result in Europe on Thursday evening.

While scoring five times against a Glentoran side reduced to 10 men will not be regarded as a major scalp, it has the potential to set the ball rolling for Stephen Robinson and his Motherwell squad.

Just two points have been recorded from their opening five league matches, a return made worse by the surprise 1-0 home defeat to Hamilton Academical last weekend.

The exit of David Turnbull to Sunday's opponents will not have helped the mood at Fir Park, but it frees up Robinson to make at least one significant addition over the coming weeks.

Despite a central midfielder inevitably being on the agenda, Robinson may want to strengthen in attack after witnessing his side fail to score in four of their first five domestic fixtures.

Celtic Scottish Premiership form: WDW
Celtic form (all competitions): WDWWL

Motherwell Scottish Premiership form: LLDDL
Motherwell form (all competitions): LLDDLW


Team News

Odsonne Edouard in action for Celtic on February 14, 2019© Reuters

Lennon has confirmed that Odsonne Edouard will miss Sunday's contest with the thigh injury which sidelined him in midweek.

Having only been used as a substitute in Europe, Albian Ajeti is expected to come into the team for his first Celtic start.

With Kristoffer Ajer being linked with a move to the Premier League, Nir Bitton could feature at centre-back, but Turnbull is unlikely to be thrown straight into the first XI.

Despite the short turnaround, Motherwell boss Robinson may opt against making any alterations to the side which began on Thursday.

Tony Watt will want to be considered for a starting role against his former club.

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

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Carson; O'Donnell, Gallagher, Mugabi, Lamie; Grimshaw, Campbell, O'Hara; Polworth, Long, Lang


SM words green background

We say: Celtic 2-1 Motherwell

Despite their contrasting starts in the top flight, this now has all the makings of a closely-fought contest. However, motivated to respond to the setback in Europe, we are backing Celtic to fight their way to a narrow triumph.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on August 22, 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers6411115613
2Hibernian6330126612
3Hearts633095412
4Motherwell632196311
5Dundee UnitedDundee Utd631234-110
6Celtic6303164129
7Aberdeen62226608
8St Johnstone613234-16
9Livingston611439-64
10St Mirren6042512-74
11Ross County6033513-83
12Dundee6033412-83

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