Before the international break, Celtic’s Joe Ledley said that his side have to win every game between now and the end of the season if they are to pick up the SPL title in May.
Then earlier this week, Gary Hooper reiterated the rallying call, saying that nothing but victory is an option for Celtic in all their remaining games.
The bookmakers seem to agree and Celtic have been installed as 2/5 favourites with bwin to beat Inverness in Saturday’s early kick off. Thistle are available at 6/1, while the draw is priced at 7/2.
Unfortunately for Celtic, needing to win and actually winning are two completely different things, as they discovered to their cost in the Highland capital last season.
Celtic arrived in Inverness in May with the destination of the SPL title in their own hands, but they famously lost the game 3-2 and went on to finish runners up to champions Rangers.
Last season’s 3-2 win was not the first time Inverness have beaten Celtic by that scoreline either – they recorded an identical win at the Caledonian Stadium in 2007, and bwin will give you odds of 66/1 on a 3-2 home win again this time around.
The key to making money from this one is betting on goals galore, whichever team you fancy. Celtic can be backed to win with more than 3.5 goals scored in the game at 39/20, while Inverness are as long as 22/1 to do the same.
Despite the long odds, a home win is definitely not out of the question and there are some ominous signs for Celtic that three home goals could be on the cards again.
Inverness have scored nine in their last three games – an average of three per game – and they scored six against Kilmarnock in the last round of fixtures, which shows that they are on fire in front of goal.
On top of this, Celtic conceded three away to Kilmarnock in October and four against Rangers at Ibrox in September, so it is not without precedent. At 66/1, I am unlikely to be the only person tempted by this bet at the weekend.
New customers to bwin get a free £25 bet for registering and if you use it to back a 3-2 home win you stand to win a cool £1,675 if successful.
In Celtic’s defence, they laid down a marker in September when they exacted revenge for May’s defeat with a 2-0 victory at Celtic Park and, as Ledley and Hooper pointed out, they are acutely aware that anything other than a win on Saturday will all but end their title hopes in the exact same place that they dissolved last season.
With goals likely from the home team, however, attack could be the best form of defence for Celtic if they are to come out on top. With this in mind, the key to making money from this one is betting on goals galore, whichever team you fancy.
Celtic can be backed to win with more than 3.5 goals scored in the game at 39/20, while Inverness are as long as 22/1 to do the same.
Punters wanting to play devil’s advocate can get odds of 10/1 on the game finishing 0-0, but I suspect that there wont be too many people taking me up on that offer.
All signs point to goals, and plenty of them.
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