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Oct 27, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Hibernian vs. Celtic - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Celtic will be looking to extend their Scottish Premiership winning streak to four matches when they face Hibernian at Easter Road.

Meanwhile, the home side head into this game on the back of three successive defeats, a run of form which has left Jack Ross's team four points adrift of Celtic in the standings.

Match preview

Still sitting four points adrift of leaders Rangers, Ange Postecoglou will not feel satisfied with the performances and results of his Celtic side.

Nevertheless, four successive wins in all competitions is a step in the right direction, the last three victories being accompanied by clean sheets.

While the goals have dried up to a certain degree, becoming difficult to break down at the other end was more important in the wake of their 4-0 drubbing at home to Bayer Leverkusen.

Postecoglou and the club's supporters will both agree that this side is very much a work in progress as all of the relevant parties continue to go through a period of transition.

That said, with forward Giorgos Giakoumakis now an active member of his squad, expectations have increased ahead of their next batch of fixtures.

A similar scenario occurred at Hibs up until a few weeks ago after the Edinburgh outfit came through their opening seven league matches without suffering defeat.

However, three setbacks in succession against Rangers, Dundee United and Aberdeen have put a different spin on things, Ross now coming under pressure to keep his job.

Calls for his departure at this stage should be perceived as an over-reaction, but defeat on Wednesday could leave Hibs in the bottom half of the table.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Ross ahead of a fixture of this magnitude is just two goals being scored in their last six league games.

Leading marksman Martin Boyle has followed a run of five goals in six matches by failing to get on the scoresheet since September 26.

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

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

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

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

Team News

Barring any late fitness issues, Postecoglou could stick with the same players which posted a 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

That would see Giakoumakis make his second start in succession, while the likes of Stephen Welsh and Adam Montgomery would remain among the replacements.

Hibs defender Darren McGregor joins Ryan Porteous in being suspended for this fixture after being sent off for two yellow cards versus Aberdeen.

Middlesbrough loanee Nathan Wood could be provided with just his second league start, while Jamie Murphy may replace James Gullan in the final third.

The rest of the team could stay the same with Scott Allan continuing to remain on the substitutes' bench.

Hibernian possible starting lineup:
Macey; McGinn, Wood, Hanlon; Cadden, Newell, Doyle-Hayes, Stevenson; Nisbit, Boyle, Murphy

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Juranovic; Rogic, McGregor, Turnbull; Furuhashi, Giakoumakis, Jota

We say: Hibernian 1-4 Celtic

While Celtic have been extremely poor away from home this season, that may not matter on Wednesday. Hibs appear to be on a downward spiral, leading us to predict a comfortable victory for the Bhoys.

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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