Football Tips: Our big-value 48/1 Celtic v Hibs Bet Builder for Monday night

Our tipster Shane O'Brien has found a big-value punt as Celtic return to action against Hibs at Parkhead.

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The decision to bring forward the Scottish winter break came at the worst possible time for Hibs, who had won three games in a row to put themselves back into contention for a top-three finish.

The premature break snapped all momentum Hibs had amassed during December and it is now back to square one for Shaun Maloney’s side.

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A run of five straight defeats in October and November left Hibs with a mountain to climb, but they responded admirably by taking 14 points from their most recent eight league games to move within seven points behind Edinburgh rivals Hearts in third. They travel to Celtic Park on Monday night in a repeat of December’s League Cup final, which Celtic pipped thanks to two goals from Kyogo Furuhashi.

Celtic had taken 25 points from their last nine games before the winter break and have been constantly improving under Ange Postecoglou. A win on Monday will see Celtic close the gap on Rangers to three points, for the moment at least, but it will not be easy.

Celtic v Hibernian – Monday, January 17: 7.45pm
Celtic TV

*A Bet Builder with these four best bets pays at approximately 48/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

Celtic to win by exactly 1 goal

Hibs have not lost by more than a goal in their three away defeats this season, including a 2-1 defeat at Rangers. They also pushed Rangers all the way at Easter Road, going down to a late Kemar Roofe penalty. With both sides out of action for more than three weeks, momentum and match sharpness will be in short supply and Celtic will surely jump at a victory of any sort against a tricky opponent.

Both teams to score

Celtic boast the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 12 goals in their opening 20 games of the season. However, they face a Hibs side that scored against them in both encounters this season and it is not unreasonable to think that they will be breached for a third time in as many games.

Hibs found the back of the net in their last five games before the winter break and breached the Rangers defence at Ibrox in October. They also put three past the champions in an impressive 3-1 victory in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

Celtic, meanwhile, conceded in three of their four games before the break and are by no means impregnable. At the other end, Celtic average more than two goals per game in the league and average just under three goals per home game.

Liel Abada to score anytime

With Furuhashi and David Turnbull sidelined through injury, Celtic’s goalscoring burden falls heavily onto the shoulders of Liel Abada. The Israeli forward is Celtic’s second-highest goalscorer this season, scoring 10 goals in 32 games in all competitions and six in 19 league appearances.

The winter break came at the worst possible moment for Abada, who had scored three goals in Celtic’s last three league fixtures of 2021 after previously going nine league appearances without scoring in a run of form that saw him lose his starting place.

However, injuries to several key players afforded Abada a run in the team in the run-up to Christmas, and he seized the opportunity with both hands by scoring pivotal goals in away wins at Ross County and St. Johnstone.

He must continue that goalscoring momentum upon the resumption of the Scottish season if he is to keep his place in the Celtic team.

Jota anytime assist

Jota had been a revelation for Celtic since arriving on loan from Benfica in the summer until an injury stopped his season in its tracks. However, Postecoglou revealed earlier in the week that the Portuguese forward is back in full training ahead of Monday’s clash with Hibs and said that he could make his long-awaited return from injury.

Jota has bagged five goals in 11 league appearances, while he also provided four league assists, the most of any Celtic player after Anthony Ralston. He has provided six assists in 16 appearances in all competitions, the most of any Celtic player alongside David Turnbull.

Jota provided one assist in Celtic’s 3-1 win at Easter Road earlier in the season and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him repeat the feat on Monday night, provided he is deemed fit.

Celtic v Hibs Bet Builder tips

Celtic to win by exactly 1 goal
Both teams to score
Liel Abada to score anytime
Jota anytime assist

*A Bet Builder with these four best bets pays at approximately 48/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

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