Celtic will be in buoyant mood heading into their second Scottish Professional Football League game, having dismantled Hamilton 5-1 in their season opener. Celtic are looking for their 10th straight league title and are massive favourites to do so as well, with their closest competitors Rangers quite some way off their standards.
Kilmarnock, on the other hand, faced defeat at the hands of Hibernian in their first fixture. However, the Killies did show some attacking potency in that 2-1 defeat. Playing their first home game of the season, they will look to maintain that attacking intensity.
Moreover, they will want to fare much better this time from a defensive point of view. After all, they conceded two goals in the match before from just 3 shots on target.
Kimarnock v Celtic head-to-head
Odds favour Celtic heavily in this match-up and rightly so. They've won their last 3 matches against Kilmarnock with the exact same scoreline: 3-1. That being said, perhaps the home team can draw inspiration from their last win against Celtic - a 2-1 victory in September, 2018.
One result you may not expect from this fixture is a 0-0 draw. There has only been one such instance in the last 16 times these two have faced off.
There is a good chance of both teams scoring as Kilmarnock will find it very hard to get anything from the game without playing to their strengths. Manager Alex Dyer expressed his satisfaction in the way his team were set up to play in the first match, and found the overall performance encouraging, despite the unfavourable result.
Kilmarnock v Celtic team news
Alex Dyer's Killies have no injuries concerns to start the season with except for on-loan goalkeeper Jake Eastwood, who pulled his quad one half into his debut. New signing Clevid Dikamona was the home side's 9th of the season, but he is doubtful to play any part in this one.
The 30-year-old French defender is still awaiting clearance from the Scottish FA regarding his move, and will likely miss out.
Captain Gary Dicker may again start from the bench, having overseen his team's previous match from the same spot. Stuart Findlay is certain to marshall the defence, and the goalscoring burden will be on Nicke Kabamba and Chris Burke.
Doubtful: Clevid Dikamona (just joined squad)
Manager Neil Lennon would also almost certainly name the same line-up that put 5 past Hamilton, bar one change. New signing Vasilis Barkas may be handed his debut, and he will be tasked with guarding The Bhoys' goal better than Stuart Bain did.
The only other possible change could be Oliver Ntcham coming in for Ryan Christie, although the latter's superb performance in his last outing could be enough for him to retain a starting spot.
Star striker Odsonne Eduoard, who started the season with a bang, having netted a hat-trick, will start again up-front despite rumours out him moving out of Scotland.
The 22-year-old talisman's public comments on a possible move is a cause for concern for Lennon, but he knows the club will do well to keep their star man. A new contract is on the table, and a recent tweet from the Guinean has sparked hope among the Celtic faithful that he will be signing.
Kilmarnock v Celtic predicted XI
Kilmarnock predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Danny Rogers; Calum Waters; Stuart Findlay; Kirk Broadfoot; Ross Millen; Aaron Tshibola; Alan Power; Rory KcKenzie; Greg Kiltie; Chris Burke; Nicke Kabamba.
Celtic predicted XI (4-3-3): Vasilis Barkas; Greg Taylor; Kristoffer Ajer; Christopher Jullien; Jeremie Frimpong; Scott Brown; Callum McGregor; Mohamed Elyounoussi; Ryan Christie; James Forrest; Odsonne Edouard.
Kilmarnock v Celtic prediction
There hardly exists an SPFL fixture anymore involving Celtic where the Hoops aren't out-right favourites. This match is no different.
The Celts are far and away the strongest team in the country and have a better player in almost every position than any other club does. The centre-back pairing of Ajer and Jullien hasn't quite inspired a great deal of confidence, and the goalkeeping could certainly improve.
Apart from those two concerns, Celtic are almost flawless if their first match was anything to go by and should comfortably win this game and continue marching towards a 10th league title on the bounce.
Kilmarnock will have to play the best football they have in a long, long time in order to get a result from this one. Although the same is unlikely, they do have enough firepower to at least grab a consolation goal.
Final Verdict: Kilmarnock 1-3 CelticPublished 07 Aug 2020, 21:40 IST