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Preview: Celtic vs. Hibernian - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Hibernian, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Celtic head into the next batch of Scottish Premiership fixtures sitting 19 points adrift of leaders Rangers, who defeated them at Ibrox last weekend.

Meanwhile, Hibernian make the trip to Glasgow on Monday night having suffered three successive setbacks in the top flight, a run which has left the club in fourth place.

Match preview

Celtic manager Neil Lennon pictured on January 2, 2021© Reuters

Under pressure to close down a rampant Rangers side, Celtic delivered one of their strongest performances of the season during last weekend's Old Firm derby.

However, a controversial sending-off contributed to Neil Lennon's side succumbing to a 1-0 reverse, leaving them further off the pace and the stakes raised ahead of their games in hand.

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has made a point of publicly assuming that Celtic will soon add another nine points to their tally, although that will prove easier said than done for a manager and squad under intense pressure.

Before the latest setback at their rivals, Celtic had put together a four-match winning streak which had featured 10 goals and four clean sheets.

While losing out to Rangers was hard to take, Lennon may feel that the manner of the defeat could act as the catalyst that they require to have any chance of winning a 10th league crown in a row.

At one stage this season, Hibs were regarded as the best of the rest in Scotland, with selected media and supporters believing that they could last the pace with the top two.

Now sitting seven points behind Celtic having played three games more than their next opponents, Jack Ross's side will likely need to claim maximum points to have any chance of remaining in contention for the runners-up spot.

That appears unlikely, however, with the Edinburgh side losing three league games in a row for the first time this season, the latest of those coming by a 3-0 scoreline to resurgent Livingston.

More worryingly for Ross, he has witnessed his players fail to net in any of those games, and top goalscorer Kevin Nisbet now only has two strikes to his name from his last eight outings.

Celtic Scottish Premiership form: DWWWWL
Celtic form (all competitions): Delete WDWWWL

Hibernian Scottish Premiership form: WDWLLL
Hibernian form (all competitions): WDWLLL

Team News

Nir Bitton during a Celtic training session on November 7, 2018© Reuters

Celtic will have to make do without Nir Bitton after his dismissal against Rangers on January 2.

Shane Duffy is expected to take the place of the Israel international in what could be the only change to the team.

Scott Brown is an alternative to Ismaila Soro if Lennon opts to freshen up his midfield.

Ross will inevitably make changes to his side after they were comfortably defeated by Livingston at Easter Road.

Jamie Murphy could return on the left flank, while youngster Josh Doig may come back into the first XI in defence.

With Dillon Barnes having returned to parent club Queens Park Rangers, either Matt Macey or Kevin Dabrowski will be handed an opportunity between the sticks.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Barkas; Frimpong, Ajer, Duffy, Laxalt; Soro; Christie, Turnbull, McGregor; Griffiths, Edouard

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Macey; McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Doig; Gogic; Boyle, Mallan, Nisbet, Murphy; Doidge

SM words green background

We say: Celtic 2-0 Hibernian

After disappointing results last week, this is an important fixture for both sides as they bid to achieve their targets for the season. While we expect Hibs to give a good account of themselves in Glasgow, Celtic have the tools to run out comfortable victors.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:curl


How you voted: Celtic vs Hibernian

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Matt Macey pictured in October 2014
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