Celtic couldn’t have asked for a better team to come up against after a Thursday night away day in the Europa League. St. Johnstone have lost three on the bounce, and five of their last six, and could very well find themselves bottom of the league by Sunday evening.
Celtic, meanwhile, have won six league games on the bounce and their last seven in all competitions since they were dumped out of the Champions League by Ferencvaros.
Neil Lennon’s side have recovered well from that hammer blow and can now turn their attention back to their pursuit of a record tenth league title in-a-row after securing their Europa League group stage status in Bosnia.
They have endured a congested fixture list in recent weeks, but have the luxury of an international break on the horizon and should see this one out without too much difficulty.
While Celtic’s impressive run of form has propelled them into pole position in the title race, the goalscoring form of talisman Odsonne Edouard will be of some concern.
Since netting an opening day hat-trick at home to Hamilton, the French striker has scored just once in the league – a penalty in a 5-0 victory at Ross County – and the goalscoring responsibility has fallen on the shoulders of new signing Albian Ajeti.
With Ajeti sidelined until after the international break at least, Edouard needs to step into the void and rediscover his goalscoring touch.
Fortunately for Edouard, that process has apparently already begun. He scored the crucial goal in Celtic’s 1-0 win in Sarajevo on Thursday and should head to McDiarmid Park full of confidence.
This is an excellent opportunity for Edouard to break his goalscoring duck in the league.
St. Johnstone simply do not inspire confidence going forward.
They have scored just four goals so far this season, the fewest of any team in the Scottish Premiership, and have failed to score in each of their last three games. They have managed to score in just three games all season.
Celtic, on the other hand, boast the second-best defensive record in the league, conceding just five goals in eight games and they seem to have become more watertight in recent weeks after conceding twice at home to Livingston.
The champions have recorded clean sheets in their last three games – twice in the Europa League and once in the league – and should be able to keep St. Johnstone out comfortably.
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St Johnstone v Celtic bet summary – Sunday, October 4
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