By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 3rd October 2018
Scottish Premiership trips to McDiarmid Park have been a goal-mine for Celtic in recent campaigns, but St Johnstone welcome visitors that’ve been far from prolific this term. The action is set to unfold in front of the BT Sport cameras on Sunday, just three days after the Bhoys’ Europa League trip to Red Bull Salzburg.
St Johnstone vs Celtic predictions: The match betting odds
Brendan Rodgers’ men are just 3/10 for a second away win over the Saints in less than a fortnight – odds that seem more relevant to the 4-0, 5-2 and 4-2 successes they enjoyed here over the past two seasons than this term’s 1-0 Scottish League Cup victory.
The hosts are a hefty 17/2 for their first win over the Old Firm side since 2015/16, after a backs-to-the-wall showing in that quarter-final encounter, while the draw is a 17/4 pick.
Leigh Griffiths’ 83rd-minute winner is the only strike the Hoops have netted against the Perth club across the side’s last two meetings and one of just seven they’ve bagged in seven league games this term – facts not lost on our St Johnstone vs Celtic predictions.
Head-to-head (most recent first): St Johnstone 0-1 Celtic, Celtic 0-0 St Johnstone, St Johnstone 0-4 Celtic, Celtic 1-1 St Johnstone, Celtic 4-1 St Johnstone, St Johnstone 2-5 Celtic.
St Johnstone vs Celtic match tips: best bet, score, scorer
Best bet: Under 2.5 goals, betting @ 11/10
Tommy Wright’s men have rewarded unders backers in 11 straight outings on their own patch, as well as last time the champions rocked up for a league date.
Further encouragement for the nap among our St Johnstone vs Celtic predictions comes in the shape of two of the Bhoys’ three 2018/19 league away games and seven of their last nine anywhere in all competitions (prior to the trip to Salzburg) also rewarding those betting the under 2.5 goals odds.
Predicted score: Draw/under 2.5 goals double, trading @ 5/1
Saints fans have had to put up with some attritional fare at McDiarmid Park in recent times, but their resolve has been rewarded with just one home loss in 11 across all competitions.
Against such a backdrop of resistance, visitors weary from midweek European exertions are expected to struggle to assert themselves, having lost both their league away games following continental engagements so far in 2018/19.
However, their hosts have won just twice in the top flight this term and a draw may once again be the ceiling of their ambitions.
Bets such as the draw and the 5/1 stalemate/under 2.5 goals double both appeal as St Johnstone vs Celtic value picks.
Predicted scorer: Blair Alston to score first, tipped @ 20/1
It may be worth perusing the teamsheet before backing Celtic’s Ryan Christie in the scorer odds as the 23-year-old has been in and out of the team this term.
However, with our St Johnstone vs Celtic predictions tipping him a 5/1 last goalscorer, he’s a worthy pick on the back of four goals in his past six league games against the Saints.
For the hosts, midfielder Blair Alston has notched twice in his last five games, including against Rangers at Ibrox and rates a decent value first scorer selection at 20/1 – not least because his side have bagged first in four of their last five at McDiarmid Park.
St Johnstone vs Celtic stats: Opta
- Celtic have lost just one of their last 11 visits to McDiarmid Park in the Scottish Premiership (W7 D3), winning each of the previous three whilst scoring at least four goals in all of those three (13 in total).
- St Johnstone have won just one of their last 12 league meetings with Celtic (a 2-1 victory in May 2016), drawing three, losing eight and conceding 29 goals during this period.
- The Bhoys are one of only three sides yet to win an away match in this season’s Scottish Premiership (also Rangers and St. Mirren). They could go four games without an away league win for the first time since May 2013 (six matches).