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Jan 26, 2022 at 7.45pm UK at Tynecastle
1 - 2
Boyce (62')
Devlin (45'), Halkett (61'), Boyce (67')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Hatate (27'), Giakoumakis (35')
Taylor (45'), Jota (45'), Bitton (53')

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

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

Hearts will be hoping to extend their four-match unbeaten run on Wednesday when they host Celtic as SPL action returns.

The Hoops sit four points behind league leaders Rangers, and they will be hoping to put some more pressure on the Gers in midweek.

Match preview

Hearts are currently enjoying a strong run of form, having won their previous four matches in a row across all competitions, with the squad keeping three clean sheets in that period.

However, it is not just defensively where they have been impressive, as the Jambos have found the back of the net 10 times across those games.

Robbie Neilson saw his team score five at the weekend as they progressed in the Scottish Cup, knocking out Auchinleck Talbot to put their name in the hat for the next round.

The focus now returns to the SPL, and Hearts have the chance to close the gap slightly on the team above them in the table, with nine points currently separating them.

It was Celtic who took all three points when the two teams met earlier this season, with a first-half goal from Kyogo Furuhashi being enough to give the Hoops a victory.

That result is part of the 11-match unbeaten run that Ange Postecoglou has been guiding his squad through, and they shall be hoping to continue that on Wednesday.

Celtic are just four points behind Rangers at the moment, with the title race intensifying as the clubs prepare for the run-in as the season draws to a close.

The Hoops were also able to progress in the Scottish Cup at the weekend, with Giorgos Giakoumakis and Liel Abada getting on the scoresheet as they defeated Alloa Athletic 2-1.

The squad have found the back of the net 44 times this season in the league, which is more than any team, while they have also conceded the least amount of goals.

Celtic's brilliant performances both offensively and defensively are something that have helped to push them up the table in order to be competitive with their rivals.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Hearts form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

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

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

Team News

John Souttar was unavailable for Hearts during their recent outing, and he will once again be a doubt when it comes to the upcoming midweek encounter.

However, the Jambos had a major boost at the weekend when Liam Boyce was able to mark his return from injury by scoring a brace, which he will be hoping to follow against the Hoops.

Callum McGregor will not be available for Celtic this week with the club captain having dealt with a facial injury during their most recent Scottish Cup match.

Both Yosuke Ideguchi and Abada had to be withdrawn in that match as well due to separate issues, and each man is a doubt for this game, but Jota did return and will be an option.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Gordon; Smith, Halkett, Kingsley, Cochrane; Halliday, Devlin, Haring, Atkinson; McKay; Boyce

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Scales; Bitton, Rogic, Maeda, McCarthy, Jota; Giakoumakis

We say: Hearts 1-2 Celtic

Two of the SPL's strongest teams competing against each other is always going to bring a close match, with both squads looking to push further up the table.

However, the slight edge that Celtic have is their ability in front of goal, and that is something that should help them to secure all three points.

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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