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Motherwell logo
Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 27
Feb 25, 2024 at 12pm UK
Fir Park
Celtic logo

1 - 3

Spittal (43')
Butcher (79')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Idah (51', 90+4'), Palma (90+6')
Taylor (55'), Palma (90+8')

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

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

Celtic make the trip to Motherwell on Sunday knowing that they are under increasingly pressure to return to winning ways in the Scottish Premiership.

With Rangers playing a day earlier, Celtic could start the fixture against the division's ninth-placed side as many as five points adrift of their Old Firm rivals in the standings.

Match preview

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after the match on January 21, 2024© Reuters

Having gone eight matches without defeat in the top flight, Brendan Rodgers cannot be too downbeat with regards to Celtic's general form.

Nevertheless, the relentlessness of Rangers has meant that draws against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock have left Celtic as underdogs to retain their title.

Rodgers may have had concerns over how his side required a last-gasp penalty to win 2-1 at Hibernian in the game sandwiched in between, and it was a late leveller for Kilmarnock that cost them maximum points at their home ground last weekend.

With no fixture against Rangers until April, Rodgers and his Celtic players are under pressure to get back on track, with the risk being that any more dropped points could lead to Rangers moving more than three points clear before the next head-to-head.

Celtic are under no illusions over the difficultly of the task of facing Motherwell on away territory, with a 2-1 win in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season coming from goals scored in the 87th minute and deep into added-on time.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell pictured before kickoff on April 22, 2023© Reuters

That particular game may be required for Stuart Kettlewell to feel greater optimism about this match given the run of results that have recently been posted by his team.

Just two victories have been recorded in 22 league encounters, although positives can be taken from just one defeat being registered in the last seven games in the Scottish Premiership.

Motherwell have only lost by 2-0 scorelines to Rangers and Hearts in 10 outings, yet the six draws during that period led to the club's hierarchy reaffirming that there are no plans to part ways with Kettlewell anytime soon.

Sitting seven points clear of the bottom two, Motherwell are under minimal pressure with regards to a relegation scrap, yet Kettlewell would appreciate widening that margin on Sunday.

Motherwell Scottish Premiership form:

Motherwell form (all competitions):

Celtic Scottish Premiership form:

Celtic form (all competitions):

Team News

New Celtic signing Nicolas Kuhn presented to the fans at half time on January 21, 2024© Reuters

Despite losing out at Hearts, the game was goalless until a substitution was made by Kettlewell, and it may lead to an unchanged starting lineup.

Dan Casey should remain in the Motherwell back three if he suffered no ill-effects from his first appearance since the start of December.

Seventeen-year-old Lennon Miller may drop out of midfield if Kettlewell prefers a more experienced alternative, although that may be dependent on whether Andrew Halliday is available again after injury.

Rodgers may also be prepared to select the same Celtic XI, despite the frustration of conceding so late versus Kilmarnock.

Yang Hyun-Jun and Nicolas Kuhn are pushing for opportunities in the final third, but it is unclear whether Rodgers would be prepared to drop any of his established names.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart will start between the sticks on a week where he announced his planned retirement, but Cameron Carter-Victors, Alistair Johnston and Reo Hatate will all miss out through injury.

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kelly; McGinn, Mugabi, Casey; Devine, Miller, Zdravkovski, Gent; Paton; Vale, Bair

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Ralston, Welsh, Scales, Taylor; Maeda, O'Riley, McGregor, Palma; Furuhashi; Idah

SM words green background

We say: Motherwell 1-3 Celtic

Kettlewell may feel that his side are capable of causing a surprise against Celtic while the defending champions are going through a rough patch. However, we are backing the visitors to come through with three points, helped by complacency no longer being a factor given Rangers' relentless form.

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

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Celtic's Joe Hart pictured in December 13, 2023
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