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Apr 10, 2021 at 3pm UK
Forrest (30'), Turnbull (38'), Fitzwater (50' og.), Elyounoussi (54', 66'), Christie (87')
FT(HT: 2-0)

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

:Headline: Preview: Celtic vs. Livingston - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Livingston, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Celtic will be looking to secure their 19th Scottish Premiership victory of the season when they host Livingston on Saturday afternoon.

The Hoops have drawn their last two league matches, while the Lions have failed to win any of their last three away games, conceding seven goals in the process.

Match preview

Celtic began the month of April with a 3-0 victory against League One side Falkirk in the third round of the Scottish Cup last weekend.

Second-half strikes from James Forrest, Ryan Christie and Mohamed Elyounoussi helped the Hoops secure a comfortable win on home soil which has set up a fourth-round clash against Old Firm rivals Rangers.

John Kennedy's side now turn their focus back to the Scottish Premiership as they aim to finish the campaign strongly and take positive momentum into next season.

Celtic have only lost one of their 25 top-flight league matches against Livingston, but five of the last eight Scottish Premiership matches between the two sides have been drawn, including their last two meetings this season.

The Hoops, who have only lost one of their last 12 home league games, will finish in second place this season if they were to win on Saturday as third-placed Hibernian would not be able to catch them.

Like Celtic, Livingston also progressed from the third round of the Scottish Cup last weekend, although their victory was not as convincing.

The Lions had to come from behind against Championship side Raith Rovers and were forced into extra time, before substitute Matej Poplatnik scored in the 109th minute to secure a slender 2-1 win, edging David Martindale's men into the fourth round.

Livingston travel to Celtic Park having never won a top-flight match there in 13 previous visits, drawing twice and losing the other 11.

One of those draws, however, was a goalless encounter this season, and Martindale will be hoping that his side have learnt from their last meeting and can take advantage of an inconsistent and unpredictable Celtic side this weekend.

It is still mathematically possible for Livingston to match their highest ever finish in the Scottish Premiership and climb to third in the table, replicating their achievement back in the 2001-02 campaign.

A surprise victory for the Lions at Celtic Park would move them two points behind Aberdeen in fourth if they were to lose to St Johnstone.

Celtic Scottish Premiership form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Celtic form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Livingston Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Livingston form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Celtic boss Kennedy is set to name a strong side this weekend and is likely to make changes to the team that beat Falkirk.

Centre-back Christopher Jullien remains out with a knee injury, while midfielder Nir Bitton is also unavailable with a groin problem.

Elyounoussi, Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard are three players who could return to the starting lineup.

Winger Forrest started and scored for the first time since mid-September against Falkirk and will be hoping to keep his place in the first XI on Saturday.

For Livingston, Martindale could name the same starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game this weekend.

Striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has only found the net twice in his last 11 appearances but is expected to start ahead of Poplatnik, who scored when he came off the bench last weekend.

Defender Alan Lithgow could be in contention to feature this weekend after 15 months out with a hip injury.

That news comes at a good time for the Lions, with Jack McMillan struggling with an ankle injury and Ciaron Brown having returned to parent club Cardiff City.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Bain; Kenny, Welsh, Ajer, Laxalt; Brown; Turnbull, McGregor; Christie; Elyounoussi, Edouard

Livingston possible starting lineup:
McCrorie; Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Longridge; Bartley, Holt; Sibbald, Pittman, Forrest; Emmanuel-Thomas

We say: Celtic 2-0 Livingston

Even though Celtic's title charge is over and there are no relegations fears for Livingston, both sides will still be looking to finish this campaign strongly and put in a good performance on Saturday.

The Lions have frustrated the Hoops in their last two meetings, but we can see the hosts securing all three points in Glasgow.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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