* PLEASE NOTE – THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED BEFORE CELTIC ANNOUNCED A MAJOR COVID OUTBREAK, WHICH MEANS MANY PLAYERS AND STAFF WILL BE UNAVAILABLE FOR THIS GAME *
Celtic have almost certainly relinquished their hold on the Scottish title following their narrow defeat to Rangers last week and require nothing short of a miracle to win their 10th league title-in-a-row. Neil Lennon’s side were unfortunate to not at least Ibrox with a point last Saturday however, and should have far too much for an out of form Hibs.
The Jack Ross-led side have lost each of their last three league games – scoring none and conceding six -in a run that has seen them drop to fourth in the league table. Hibs’ last two results have been particularly poor, shipping five goals in home defeats against Ross County and Livingston.
They were soundly beaten on their last trip to Celtic Park and could face a similar fate again on Monday night, although it will count for very little in the title race.
Monday 19:45 – Celtic v Hibernian
Sky Sports Main Event / Sky Sports Football
Hibs have found goals hard to come by over Christmas and could go four successive games without finding the back of the net at Celtic Park against a more miserly Celtic defence. Prior to their narrow defeat to Rangers, Celtic had kept four consecutive clean sheets in the league and looked more watertight than any other point in the season.
Even in that defeat to Rangers they conceded very few opportunities and really should have put the league leaders to the sword long before Rangers took the lead. Hibs have also failed to score a goal at Celtic Park since October 2018 and have drawn blanks in four of their last five meetings with The Bhoys in Glasgow. Their poor away record against the current champions could very well continue on Monday night.
Leigh Griffiths appears to have rediscovered his goalscoring form and forced his way back into Neil Lennon’s plans following a fine run of form over Christmas. Griffiths has scored three and made one in a profitable four-game run over the Christmas period, while he came closest to giving Celtic the lead at Ibrox when he struck the post with a fierce strike.
Griffiths hasn’t scored against his former side since 2018 and has only managed one goal against them in his Hoops career. He will surely be desperate to improve that record and will rarely find a better opportunity to do so, with Hibs shipping goals at the back and struggling to score at the other end.
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