St Johnstone vs Celtic Prediction: Pick the visitors to win in Perth

 | December 01 | 

5 mins read

The Scottish Premiership returns for round 15 with both halves of the Old Firm in action on Sunday. Betfred’s Frank Monkhouse previews the play in Perth…

St Johnstone vs Celtic Betting Tips:

  • Back Both Teams to Score @ 10/11
  • Back over 3.5 goals @ 11/10

St Johnstone enjoys the home advantage over Celtic for this Sunday midday kick-off in Perth. The locals have struggled in the opening exchanges of the campaign and entered the weekend with just one team beneath them in the pecking order, bottom club Livingston. Pressure is building on the Saints following a sixth defeat in 13 games last time, and fans demand a response.

Celtic’s winning run ended at home to Motherwell last weekend when the champions conceded a late goal. Brendan Rodgers’ side remains top of the league and clear of the chasing pack, but the pace-setters won’t want to give Rangers another opportunity to close the gap. The away win is favourite, but will this game follow the script?

Team News

St Johnstone may enter this match stuck in the relegation zone, but the Perth side is capable of pulling itself free. They gave fans a taste of their strengths when reeling off a three-game unbeaten run before the international break, taking seven points from a possible nine before losing to Hearts last weekend. Bouncing back to winning ways against the champions is no mean feat, but St Johnstone has reason to be confident.

The Saints, now managed by ex-Hearts and Scotland boss Craig Levein, battled to a goalless draw at Parkhead back in August and would see another level finish as an attractive result. They didn’t have much of the ball that day but were tireless in defense, closing the door and allowing their opponents no way through. Will Levien use his experience to guide St Johnstone to a similar performance and result?

Celts held at home

Rodgers remains on course for an unbeaten season on his Celtic return, with the manager leading the champions to 11 wins and three draws from 14 games. The Hoops enjoy an eight-point cushion over Rangers and the chasing pack but know they can’t afford to drop too many points as the light blues continue to press. Victory in Perth would, at least for a few hours, extend Celtic’s lead to 11 points, further heaping pressure on Philippe Clement’s men.

Sunday will be Celtic’s second away game of the week after traveling to Lazio on Champions League duty on Tuesday evening, where they lost 2-0. Rodgers had a depleted squad to choose from in Italy and will be far from full strength again on Sunday, with Daizen Maeda, Luis Palma, Reo Hatate, and Liel Abada listed as major doubts. Celtic fans will be encouraged by the return of James Forrest and Alistair Johnston.

Followers of our predictions know we tipped Lazio 2-1 on Tuesday but missed out after a late Celtic penalty was ruled out following a VAR check. We’re hoping for improvement with Sunday’s big-match selections.

St Johnstone vs Celtic Odds

Levein has breathed life into this Saints team following a poor start to the season, and the experienced boss enjoyed a good start until suffering a narrow defeat on his return to Tynecastle. Will the former Scotland boss guide his men to an unexpected home win over last season’s treble winners? You can back St Johnstone at an eye-catching 10/1. Remember, Celtic endured a tough trip on Tuesday, making that quote a touch more appealing to neutrals and armchair fans.

Can Celtic handle Lazio and St Johnstone in the same week? It’s two difficult road trips for the league leaders, especially with several key players ruled out. Fans will see this as an opportunity to keep Rangers, who play St Mirren at Ibrox later in the day, at arm’s length. Fancy the visitors to take the three points back to Glasgow? Back a Celtic win using your Betfred account at odds of 2/11 or chance another draw at 5/1.

Bet 1: Both Teams to Score @ 10/11

We start with a bet for your weekend accumulators, and backing both teams to score in the St Johnstone vs Celtic game should help get things moving. We take heart from the head-to-head stats for this prediction, with both the Saints and Bhoys finding the net in three of their last four encounters. The spare was that goalless finish in Glasgow back in August.

Playing the both teams to score market would’ve banked you a winner in two of Celtic’s four Premiership games played last month. The same prediction would’ve nailed you a return in half of St Johnstone’s four November outings, with the Saint scoring five goals in four games. We saw last week at Celtic Park that the champions remain suspect at set pieces, and that’s something Levein will target on Sunday.

Bet 2: Over 3.5 goals @ 11/10

Sticking with the stats, we’re backing Sunday afternoon’s game to produce a few goals. Levein will be eager to keep things tight at home and remain in the contest for as long as possible, but there will be a few tired legs in the away dressing room, and with several key players missing, the game will be more competitive than the pre-match betting odds suggest.

Past meetings show McDiarmid Park isn’t a place Celtic usually struggle, and the head-to-head figures prove it with the Bhoys winning 4-1 on their last trip. There have been a combined 15 goals in the previous four games involving St Johnstone and Celtic at this venue. Celtic have won each game with scores ranging between 2-1 and 4-1. The 11/10 on this game, producing over 3.5 goals, looks worth a play.

All eyes will be on Perth on Sunday lunchtime but we have plenty of Football Betting Tips across various leagues all weekend here on the Betfred Insights website...

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