In September 1998, St Johnstone travelled to Celtic Park for the first time ever in the newly-created Scottish Premier League and came away with an impressive 1-0 victory.
Two months later they faced the same opposition at McDiarmid Park and beat them 2-1, and despite losing their next visit to Parkhead in January, they notched up yet another win against the Hoops in April, making it three wins out of four for the season.
Back in those halcyon days for the Perth Saints they could never have predicted that it would be another 12 seasons, and a full 20 games, until they would beat Celtic again.
But interestingly, when they finally did manage to conquer the Glasgow club again on August 21st this year, it was by a 1-0 scoreline at Celtic Park – exactly the same as their first SPL win against them all those years ago.
So could we be about to see the start of another great run of victories for St Johnstone against Celtic…?
Well, probably not.
If you had asked me the same question a couple of weeks ago I might have said yes. Steve Lomas had just taken over the manager’s job and had led his side to two wins and a draw in his opening three games – including holding Rangers at Ibrox.
But a fortnight is a long time in football and last Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat by Motherwell was quickly followed up by a 2-1 loss to lowly Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park on Tuesday night, meaning that Lomas takes his side into Sunday’s match with Neil Lennon’s men low on confidence and form.
Celtic, on the other hand, have won their last six SPL matches, conceding just two goals and keeping four clean sheets. This makes odds of 1/2 on a Celtic win look particularly appealing and backing them could be a real steal for punters this weekend.
If you want to make a larger return, however, then you are unlikely to get it by backing St Johnstone to win at 21/4. The Saints have lost three of their last four home games and have conceded the first goal in all four of them.
While odds of 11/25 on Celtic to score the first goal would return a modest profit, taking evens on Celtic leading at the break could see you scoop £50 if you successfully used your free £25 bet for joining bwin.com to back this outcome.
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