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Celtic vs Kilmarnock betting tips: Scottish League Cup semi-final preview, predictions, team news and odds


Match preview

Scottish League Cup semi-final weekend kicks off with the holders seeking to reach the final of this competition for the 36th time.

Celtic captured a 20th League Cup by beating Hibernian in last season’s final, meaning they’ve won five of the last six finals.

In this season’s competition, Ange Postecoglou’s team have cruised to Hampden, scoring four away to both Ross County and Motherwell.

Meanwhile, the Hoops are nine points clear at the top of the Premiership, having snatched a draw at Ibrox 12 days ago.

At the National Stadium meanwhile, Celtic had won 14 consecutive matches, prior to defeat at the hands of their fiercest rivals on Easter Sunday last year.

So, will the champions and run-away league-leaders be returning to Mount Florida on 26 February for yet another final?

This season, Killie almost exited in the group phase, finishing second, behind Partick Thistle, back in July.

Since that early scare, Derek McInnes’ side have caused an upset at Tynecastle, ousting Hearts, before overcoming Dundee United in the quarter-finals.

Danny Armstrong’s header was the difference in the latter.

So, this will be Kilmarnock’s first trip to Hampden since that final 11 years ago, hoping for an equally memorable trip north.

Just a week ago, these two clubs met in the Premiership at Parkhead; Jota’s opener followed by Ash Taylor’s own goal seeing Celtic prevail 2-0.

It would be a major surprise if this semi-final clash didn’t go the same way.

Celtic team news

Ange Postecoglou’s team is largely settled right now, despite an influx of January arrivals.

One of which is Alistair Johnston who, since his debut in the Glasgow derby, has quickly established himself as first-choice right-back.

Japanese duo Yūki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata are still awaiting their debuts.

At left-back, as Greg Taylor is injured, Alexandro Bernabei is set to keep his place, while Josip Juranović is on his way out of the club this month.

The wide attacking positions have been up for grabs in recent weeks, but Jota’s goal last weekend should see him keep his place.

Daizen Maeda is also likely to be in the XI, with James Forrest and Liel Abada missing out; Sead Hakšabanović is injured.

Kyogo Furuhashi bagged a brace in last season’s League Cup Final, and scored after just seven minutes at Rugby Park in August.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Bernabei; McGregor, Mooy, Hatate; Jota, Maeda, Kyōgo.

Kilmarnock team news

The big news for Kilmarnock is that Kyle Lafferty is available again, after serving his ten-game ban for an off-field issue.

The Northern Irishman has scored five career goals against Celtic, so is set to partner quarter-final hero Danny Armstrong in attack; Scott Robinson is a viable alternative.

Derek McInnes deployed a 3-5-2 at Celtic Park last weekend, so is likely to go with a similar approach here.

Blair Alston could come into the side, in an attempt to solidify midfield.

Predicted XI (5-3-2): Walker; Mayo, Stokes, Taylor, Wright, Chrisene; Power, Polworth, Alston; Armstrong, Lafferty.

Celtic vs Kilmarnock: Head to head statistics



Picture of Ben Gray

Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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