Monday, May 23
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May 14, 2022 at 12.15pm UK at Celtic Park
6 - 0
Furuhashi (21', 44'), Turnbull (40'), Jota (59'), Giakoumakis (68', 90+1')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Lamie (76')

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

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

Celtic head into Saturday's encounter with Motherwell having already regained the Scottish Premiership title with a game to spare.

However, their opponents make the trip to Glasgow needing to record three points in order to guarantee a fourth-placed finish in the top-flight standings.

Match preview

There will be those who will insist that Celtic winning the title has been a foregone conclusion for a number of weeks, maybe even months, but the pressure remained on Ange Postecoglou and his side after they drew 1-1 with Rangers at the start of the month.

Nevertheless, going behind early to Hearts in the following game sharpened their focus and after eventually prevailing 4-1 against the third-placed team, it left just a point being required from their closing double-header.

Although Postecoglou would have preferred to see off Dundee United in style, a 1-1 draw did not take anything away from the celebrations which followed as Celtic went some way to making up for the disappointment of last season.

Even though a domestic treble was denied by Rangers in the Scottish Cup semi-finals, this has been a hugely successful campaign for Celtic, and they now have the Champions League group stages to look forward to in September.

Despite being confirmed as champions, Postecoglou and his Celtic side will want to extend their unbeaten streak in the league to 32 matches this weekend.

All things considered, Motherwell have under-performed for a number of months, leaving Graham Alexander to chase fourth position over a potential bid for third.

An 11-game winless streak left the Steelmen fortunate to still remain in the top six, but they have at least responded with a much stronger end to the campaign.

Wednesday's 2-1 triumph against Hearts made it three wins in six outings, guaranteeing a top-five finish and leaving them another three points from seeing off Dundee United's challenge for fourth.

That success represented the first time since December that Motherwell had posted back-to-back wins in the top flight, and Alexander will hope that further momentum can be built ahead of next season with a win being enough to enter the Europa Conference League at the third qualifying round stage.

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

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

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

Team News

Now that they have achieved their primary target, Postecoglou could make a number of changes to his Celtic XI, including a recall being handed to Kyogo Furuhashi.

Tom Rogic and David Turnbull are options in the middle of the pitch, while Stephen Welsh may make his 10th start of the campaign in the middle of the backline.

Scott Bain could also be provided with a rare outing between the sticks, taking the spot of first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Alexander is unlikely to deviate from a back three for the trip to Celtic, meaning that Juhani Ojala should retain his spot in the defence.

Kevin van Veen has done enough in the last two games to earn himself a recall, but the Dutchman may have to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench yet again.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Bain; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Taylor; Rogic, McGregor, Turnbull; Abada, Furuhashi, Forrest

Motherwell possible starting lineup:
Kelly; Donnelly, Ojala, Lamie; O'Donnell, Cornelius, Goss, Carroll; Slattery; Efford, Shields

We say: Celtic 3-0 Motherwell

Given the distractions of Wednesday and this coming Saturday for the home side, Motherwell will sense an opportunity to post a rare win at Celtic Park. However, an early goal could make this game one-way traffic, something that we feel is realistic ahead of this fixture.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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