By 90Min
August 23, 2019

Celtic welcome Hearts to Parkhead on Sunday as Neil Lennon's side continue their defence of the Scottish Premiership. 

The Bhoys have made a strong start to the 2019/20 league campaign, having found the net on 12 occasions in their first two matches. It's an ominous start from Lennon's side, but the club have had their disappointment in recent weeks having been knocked out of the Champions League qualifying stages yet again. 

Hearts, meanwhile, have picked up a solitary point from their first two league outings, leaving them in ninth place. However, they were able to overcome Motherwell in the Betfred Cup, handing the Jambos a boost heading into this clash..

Here's 90min's preview of the game.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Sunday 25 August
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:00 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Celtic Park
TV Channel/Live Stream? Celtic TV (Outside UK) - N/A (UK)
Referee? Willie Collum

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are available on the Celtic official club website, with the remaining tickets currently on general sale as the deadline for season ticket holders to secure their place has now passed.


Team News

Celtic were without a number of key players for their clash against AIK on Thursday, but they weren't hindered as they ran out comfortable 2-0 winners. 

Scott Bain remains out with a dislocated thumb, while Hatem Abd Elhamed is a doubt and it is unclear whether he will be able to feature. New loan signing Fraser Forster, who has re-joined the club from Southampton, could be handed an immediate start in the absence of Bain.

The Hoops were also without Tom Rogic on Thursday, who is short of match fitness but Kristoffer Ajer was fit to play and will most likely retain his spot in the team.

Hearts, meanwhile, will be without two key men in Steven Naismith and John Souttar. Naismith is nursing a hamstring injury, but new signing Glenn Whelan could be included from the start after recently arriving at Tynecastle.


Predicted Lineups

Celtic Forster; Ajer, Bitton, Jullien, Bolingoli-Mbombo; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Johnston; Edouard
Hearts Pereira; Smith, Halkett, Berra, Hickey; Whelan, Irving, Clare; Mulraney, Washington, Walker

Head to Head Record

The two sides have gone up against each other on 61 occasions, with Celtic, unsurprisingly, holding the better record.

The Hoops have come out victorious on 42 occasion, while the Jambos have prevailed only 12 times. The two teams have shared the spoils seven times. 

Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

The two sides last met in the final of the Scottish Cup back in May, with Celtic edging the game and claiming the trophy thanks to an Odsonne Edouard double.


Recent Form

Celtic come into the game having had a mixed season so far. They started in scintillating fashion, winning their first two games in the Scottish Premiership and scoring 12 goals in the process. However, they were dumped out of the Champions League, in which they conceded four goals at home in the second leg. 

Lennon's men then required extra time to get past Championship side Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish League Cup, before eventually scraping through. Although they were able to overcome AIK in their most recent game, it has been a tricky spell to say the least. 

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Hearts, meanwhile, have had a shaky start to the season. They have only picked up one point from their first two matches in the league, but will be confident after they overcame Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup. It was an impressive performance away from home, and they will be hoping for a repeat result when they travel to face the champions.  

Here's a look at how both sides have performed in their last five fixtures.

Celtic Hearts
Celtic 2-0 AIK (22/8) Motherwell 1-2 Hearts (16/8)
Celtic 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic (17/8) Hearts 0-0 Ross County (10/8)
Celtic 3-4 CFR Cluj (13/8) Aberdeen 3-2 Hearts (4/8)
Motherwell 2-5 Celtic (10/8) East Fife 1-1 Hearts (27/7)
CFR Cluj 1-1 Celtic (7/8) Hearts 2-1 Stenhousemuir (24/7)

Prediction

It is expected to be a feisty encounter, and there is a lot riding on this for both sides. Celtic will be keen to extend their fine domestic start, but will also be keen to soften the blow on missing out on the Champions League group stages.

Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

Hearts will see this match as a major opportunity to kickstart their season, having only picked up one point so far. They will be expected to put up a good fight, but the loss of Naismith will be huge. Celtic should also have too much firepower and will be expecting to win.

Prediction: Celtic 3-1 Hearts

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