Bet Builder tips: Ralston the real deal in this 23/1 Hearts v Celtic punt

Shane O'Brien has picked his 4 leg bet for Wednesday's Tynecastle clash.

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Celtic travel to Hearts on Wednesday night in a repeat of the first game of the season, when Ange Postecoglou’s side went down to a 2-1 defeat in a result that set alarm bells ringing.

They’d crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers against Midtjylland three days earlier and an opening-day defeat against a newly-promoted side did little to quell the anxiety building amongst the Celtic Park faithful.

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Defeats to Rangers and Livingston followed in August and September, leaving Celtic stranded on nine points after six games. However, Celtic have improved immeasurably since the early days of the season and those early-season struggles are now a distant memory.

They are currently four points off reigning champions Rangers, having picked up 38 points from their last available 42. With a home fixture against Rangers looming on the horizon, Celtic need to leave Tynecastle with three points to keep the pressure on their bitter rivals.

Wednesday 7.45pm: Hearts v Celtic
Sky Sports Football

*A Bet Builder with these four best bets pays at approximately 23/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

Celtic to win

Celtic face a difficult task against a Hearts side that has enjoyed a successful return to the top flight, instantly establishing themselves as the third-best team in Scotland. They are currently eight points clear of fourth-placed Motherwell and have won four of their last five league games.

Hearts have lost just once at home all season – a 2-0 defeat against Rangers in December – and boast the third-best home record in the league, taking 24 points from 11 games at Tynecastle. Only Rangers, with 27 points, and Celtic, with 26, boast better home records.

The Bhoys will have their work cut out for them but should have just about enough to keep their title charge on track.

Both teams to score

Celtic have the best defensive record in Scotland, conceding just 12 goals in their 21 league games to date. However, away from home they only boast the joint-second best defensive record.

Postecoglou’s side have conceded 10 goals in 11 away league games this season and have managed just three clean sheets in those 11.

They have kept just one clean sheet against sides in the top six and face a Hearts side that averages almost two goals per game at home this season. Hearts have only failed to score at home on two occasions this season and are likely to find the back of the net against Celtic on Wednesday night.

Jota to score anytime

Jota has been a revelation since arriving on loan from Benfica in the summer. The Portuguese forward has scored five league goals in 12 appearances for Celtic as well as registering four assists.

He made a timely return to action as a substitute against Hibs last week and continued to get up to match sharpness against Alloa in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

With Kyogo Furuhashi set to miss out for several months, Jota’s return couldn’t have come at a better time, and he can help Celtic avenge their opening-day defeat here.

Anthony Ralston anytime assist

Anthony Ralston leads the way for Celtic in assists in the league this season, registering an impressive five assists in 15 appearances. The 23-year-old has also delivered an impressive five league goals from right-back but has failed to register an assist in his last four games.

Ralston averages 1.6 key passes per game in the league and almost one cross per game. He assisted Celtic’s winner in a league meeting against Hearts at Celtic Park in December, while he also equalised for Postecoglou’s side in the 2-1 defeat at the beginning of the season.

He clearly enjoys playing against Hearts and can help inflict further damage again.

Hearts v Celtic Bet Builder tips

Celtic to win
Both teams to score
Jota to score anytime
Anthony Ralston anytime assist

*A Bet Builder with these four best bets pays at approximately 23/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD IT TO YOUR BETSLIP.

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