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Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 29
Mar 3, 2024 at 12pm UK
Tynecastle Park

2 - 0

Grant (43' pen.), Shankland (56')
Cochrane (86'), Tait (90+4')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Johnston (81'), Kelly (89')
Yang (16')

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

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

It is second versus third in the Scottish Premiership as Celtic make the trip to face Hearts on Sunday in a bid to keep the pressure on leaders Rangers.

The Hoops currently trail their Old Firm rivals by two points at the top of the table, but the Jambos have the chance to close the gap to second themselves.

Match preview

After two games in a row without a victory in the Scottish Premiership, Hearts will want to get back to winning ways on Sunday when they face the defending champions.

The Jambos were unable to truly respond to the heavy 5-0 loss they suffered against Rangers last weekend when they faced their local rivals Hibernian in midweek.

Points were shared in the Edinburgh derby, as Lawrence Shankland found the back of the net from the penalty spot at the end of the first half to secure the result for Hearts.

However, the Jambos will need to bring even more if they are hopeful of taking any points on Sunday, but they have already managed to defeat the Hoops once this season.

While Celtic dominated their first meeting with a 4-1 win, Hearts collected all three points in a 2-0 victory the last time the two teams met in mid-December.

That is a result that the visitors can ill-afford to replicate due to the fact they currently sit second in the league table after slipping below rivals Rangers.

There is currently only a two-point gap between Celtic and Rangers, so a victory this weekend could be all they need to take back top spot if the Gers slip up against Motherwell on Saturday.

Celtic have responded well to dropping points against Kilmarnock, with that draw seemingly lighting a fire within the defending champions who have been ruthless ever since.

The Hoops followed up a 3-1 victory over Motherwell last weekend with an emphatic display in midweek as they blew away Dundee by beating them 7-1.

With a different player scoring all seven goals, Brendan Rodgers was left impressed by what he saw, and the same level of attacking display is sure to cause problems this weekend.

Hearts Scottish Premiership form:

Hearts form (all competitions):

Celtic Scottish Premiership form:

Celtic form (all competitions):

Team News

Cameron Devlin, Alan Forrest and Scott Fraser were all brought into the Hearts team in midweek, and after an improved performance and result, they could end up retaining their places.

The Jambos are without several key players due to injuries impacting all areas of the squad, as Craig Halkett, Peter Haring, Barrie McKay and Liam Boyce are all on the shelf.

The visitors may opt to field the exact same starting XI this weekend as the one that comfortably defeated Dundee, with such a dominant performance needing few tweaks.

However, Cameron Carter-Vickers has yet to play a full 90 minutes since returning from injury, so the central defender could end up being rested.

Hearts possible starting lineup:
Clark; Kingsley, Kent, Rowles; Atkinson, Nieuwenhof, Devlin; Fraser, Forrest, Vargas; Shankland

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; O'Riley, Iwata, McGregor; Yang, Idah, Maeda

We say: Hearts 1-3 Celtic

Hearts have plenty to play for this weekend, as this fixture will be important if they wish to try and close the gap between themselves and the Hoops.

However, Celtic have been ruthless since dropping points against Kilmarnock and that is expected to continue this Sunday.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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