Despite a period of change for Celtic, they will begin the defence of their Scottish Premiership title against Ross County at Celtic Park on Saturday afternoon (12.30).
It’s expected to be business as usual for the Bhoys here,who clinched their 11th top-flight title in 12 years last season, while the Staggies avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth.
Celtic have lost a couple of key players this summer, with Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy hanging up his boots and Portuguese winger Jota joining Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad in a £25m deal. However, Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Yang Hyun-jun have come through the door at Celtic Park along with Tomoki Iwata.
The Hoops look set to start the season without right-back Alistair Johnston, striker Albian Ajeti and midfielder James McCarthy, who last featured for the club back in November 2022.
Ross County have welcomed Josh Reid from Coventry City and James Brown from Blackburn Rovers, however, Ross Callachan and Ben Paton remain on the treatment table.
Celtic to win 3-0 @ 6/1
Celtic have won nine successive meetings with Ross County, and their record at Celtic Park last season was nearly perfect, winning 17 of their 19 league game at home, drawing the other two.
Indeed, it seems like the Bhoys will hit the ground running as they usher in a new era with a familiar face in Brendan Rodgers, and they are far too short to be backing outright at 1/9, so I’m going with a correct score prediction.
Celtic scored exactly three goals in three of their last six Scottish Premiership home games, so I believe there will be goals in this one.
Kyogo Furuhashi to score first @ 5/2
After banging in 20 league goals in his maiden season in Scotland, the Japanese striker continued to terrorise top-flight defences last term as he racked up 27 strikes, securing SPFL Top Scorer award in the process.
The Celtic attacker will fancy his chances of opening his account against a Ross County side that shipped at least two goals in each of their four meetings with the champions last term, so I think backing him to score first hold some value, especially since he is 8/15 to score anytime.