Whenever Celtic are due to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle it is almost impossible to resist the overwhelming temptation to refer back to the famous Scottish Cup tie of February 2000.
You know the one I’m talking about? ‘Super Caley Go Ballistic Celtic Are Atrocious’? Yeah, that one.
Football writers like me wheel it out with monotonous regularity every time the Highlanders make the long journey down the A9 to Glasgow and if we are feeling particularly lazy or uninspired, we even churn it out when Celtic make the opposite journey north to the Caledonian Stadium.
But perhaps it is about time that we put this particular footballing cliché to bed once and for all.
That win, as famous and enduring as it was, was the one and only time that Inverness have ever picked up a wining result at Celtic Park. In 12 meetings there since then they have lost 11 and drawn just one – a horrendous record by anyone’s standards.
And even when you include home matches at the Caledonian Stadium, Terry Butcher’s men have been left empty-handed in all of the last five meetings in a row, losing four of them without even scoring a goal.
The only match that Inverness have scored in during that sequence of results was August’s 4-2 defeat in the Highlands, when two goals in the final eight minutes by Ross Draper put a gloss on the result that was barely merited.
And having shipped five goals at home to Motherwell in front of their lowest home crowd of the season (a paltry 2,948) last week, there can’t be many ICT fans who will be braving the seven-hour round trip to Parkhead, let alone any travelling with even the faintest hope of victory.
The Jags did beat Rangers 3-0 at Ibrox last month in the League Cup quarter finals, but facing Celtic in Glasgow these days is an altogether different prospect.
For these reasons, it is no surprise that Celtic are clear 1/5 favourites with bwin to maintain their lead at the top of the SPL table by taking all three points on Saturday.
Butcher’s draw specialists are 19/4 to claim an eighth SPL tie of the season, while they are 10/1 to pick up their first victory in Glasgow’s East End since that day that we shall now no longer talk about.
In truth though, an easy Celtic win is on the cards, so putting your free £20 bet for joining bwin.com on Celtic to win by 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 in the multiple correct score market which, at odds of 31/20, would return £51 if successful, looks like the best bet in this one.