Last season, Celtic could only watch on helplessly as Rangers clinched the SPL title at Rugby Park, but now, 11 months on, Neil Lennon’s side travel to Kilmarnock with the chance to clinch their own league crown at the same venue.
Rugby Park seems to be a magnet for title drama. On top of Rangers’ most recent triumph there, Celtic have won the championship at Kilmarnock twice in the last decade – in 2004 and 2007 – as well as losing the title there on the last day of the season in 2003.
Victory in Ayrshire on Saturday would taste even sweeter than normal for Celtic, given that only last month Kilmarnock denied them their first trophy of the season with a stunning 1-0 victory in the League Cup final at Hampden.
Furthermore, Rugby Park was the scene of one of the worst moments in Celtic’s season in October when the Hoops trooped off the field at half-time on the end of a 3-0 hiding, only to save their blushes with a second-half comeback that Lennon credits with turning their season around.
How ironic, then, that they look set to secure the SPL trophy this weekend on their return to the scene of that pulsating clash.
You get the impression that Celtic have waited quite long enough to wrap up the title and won’t be hanging around on Saturday.
The Parkhead club will be desperate to get the formality of crossing the finish line out of the way as quickly as possible, having already blown their chance at Ibrox and then watched as Rangers’ victory over Motherwell last weekend delayed the party yet further.
For all that they have emerged as something of a bogey team this season, Kilmarnock have still only beaten Celtic once in the last ten years in the SPL and are massive underdogs to avoid another title celebration in their own back yard.
Celtic are 1/2 favourites to win the match with bwin, while Killie are on offer at 11/2 and the draw is priced at 29/10.
Kilmarnock have scored in all three matches against Celtic this season and are 18/25 to score again in this one, while both teams to score in the match, as has been the case in both league meetings so far this campaign, is available at 19/20.
You get the impression, though, that Celtic have waited quite long enough to wrap up the title and won’t be hanging around on Saturday.
Last season, Rangers were 3-0 up inside seven minutes at Rugby Park as they hunted down the title and although a goal-blitz on such a scale is unlikely again, Celtic to score first is definitely a likely outcome at 21/50.
And while you can’t back them together, I would recommend putting down a fair stake on both the Bhoys to win and to score first to receive a reasonable return from this one.
Celtic to beat Kilmarnock @ 1/2 Celtic to score first @ 21/50
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