Celtic vs St Johnstone Prediction

Celtic vs St Johnstone predictions ahead of this Scottish Premiership clash. Celtic, in second, host relegation-threatened St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday. Read on for all our free predictions and betting tips.

St Johnstone

Scottish Premiership | Gameweek 30 – Mar 16, 2024 at 3pm UK at Celtic Park

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Celtic vs St Johnstone Predictions

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A Battle of Contrasts at Celtic Park

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Key Stats

Celtic’s Attacking Prowess Unleashed: With an impressive season tally of 68 goals, Celtic stands as the top-scoring team in the Scottish Premiership, averaging 2.3 goals per game. This striking offensive capability showcases their potential to dismantle defences.

St Johnstone’s Struggle on the Road: Scoring only six goals in away matches throughout the season, St Johnstone’s challenges in front of goal become evident, underlining the uphill battle they face when stepping away from their home comforts.

Defensive Fortitude vs Offensive Might: Despite Celtic’s dominance, their last encounter with St Johnstone at Celtic Park ended in a goalless draw, highlighting St Johnstone’s ability to hold their own defensively against the league’s most formidable attack.

As Celtic prepare to host St Johnstone in a Scottish Premiership encounter, the fixture presents a classic tale of football’s unpredictable nature. With Celtic in pursuit of the title and St Johnstone battling relegation woes, the stakes couldn’t be higher for both teams.


Celtic’s Quest for Dominance

Celtic, under Brendan Rodgers, have exhibited a footballing masterclass this season, blending attacking flair with tactical discipline. Despite a minor hiccup against Hearts, their emphatic response against Livingston in the Scottish FA Cup showcased their resilience and offensive firepower, with Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi playing pivotal roles.

The Hoops’ statistical supremacy, with an average BettingTips4You Expert Rating of 7.19, underscores their quality. Leading the division in goals scored and maintaining a staggering ball possession average of 69.5%, their game is built on dominating play and creating scoring opportunities, evidenced by their 2.3 goals per game.


St Johnstone’s Uphill Battle

Contrastingly, St Johnstone’s season narrative is one of survival and resilience. Their recent form, including a draw against Livingston, highlights a team finding form at a crucial juncture. However, their away record and struggle for goals, with only six scored on the road, underline the challenges they face against a team of Celtic’s calibre.

With an average BettingTips4You Expert Rating of 6.81, St Johnstone’s strategy is markedly different, focusing on defensive solidity and counter-attacks. Their possession stats and goal-scoring record reflect a team that prioritises pragmatism over possession, a tactic that could either stifle Celtic’s rhythm or leave them vulnerable to the Hoops’ attacking onslaught.

Tactical Dynamics and Key Match-Ups

The midfield battle promises to be intriguing, with Celtic’s Matt O’Riley, a standout performer, dictating play. His encounters with St Johnstone’s midfield, particularly Graham Carey, could be decisive in controlling the game’s tempo and creating chances.

Defensively, Celtic’s solidity contrasts with St Johnstone’s vulnerability. However, St Johnstone’s Dimitar Mitov has been a bright spot, with performances that could thwart Celtic’s attackers. The battle between Celtic’s forwards and St Johnstone’s defence, especially Ryan McGowan and David Keltjens, will be crucial in determining the game’s outcome.

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Expected Lineups and Their Implications

Celtic’s Expected Starting Lineup: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; O’Riley, Iwata, Bernardo; Furuhashi, Idah, Maeda

This lineup suggests a focus on attacking versatility, with Furuhashi and Maeda poised to exploit spaces behind St Johnstone’s defence. The midfield trio, led by O’Riley, will look to control the game and supply the forwards with quality chances.

St Johnstone’s Expected Starting Lineup: Mitov; Keltjens, McGowan, Gordon, Robinson; Sprangler, Phillips, Smith, Clark, Jaiyesimi; Kimpioka

Craig Levein’s unchanged XI strategy indicates confidence in his team’s recent form. Mitov’s goalkeeping prowess, combined with the defensive unit’s cohesion, will be vital. The midfield will need to disrupt Celtic’s rhythm, while Kimpioka’s role upfront will be crucial in capitalising on counter-attacking opportunities.

Predictions and Rationales

Best Bet: Celtic to Win Both Halves

Celtic’s unmatched prowess, especially on home turf, coupled with their relentless pursuit to reclaim the top spot, positions them as formidable contenders in this clash. The Hoops’ ability to assert dominance early and sustain pressure across both halves has been a hallmark of their play, particularly in matches where stakes are high. St Johnstone, despite showing grit in recent outings, faces an uphill battle against Celtic’s depth and tactical ingenuity.

The expectation is for Celtic to not only lead but to extend their advantage as the game progresses, capitalising on their superior squad depth and strategic play orchestrated by Brendan Rodgers. The momentum from their recent emphatic win, alongside a tactical setup that prioritises aggressive, forward-thinking football, makes Celtic winning both halves the most compelling wager.

Correct Score Prediction: Celtic 3-0 St Johnstone

This prediction hinges on Celtic’s offensive machinery and their defensive solidity, especially when playing in front of their home crowd. The Hoops’ scoring statistics are formidable, with a remarkable ability to create and convert chances, demonstrated by their league-leading goals tally. Against a St Johnstone side struggling for form and goals, especially in away fixtures, Celtic’s attacking trio, buoyed by recent performances, are expected to exploit every defensive gap.

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Meanwhile, Celtic’s backline, among the stingiest in the league, is well-equipped to thwart St Johnstone’s offensive forays, which have been sparse and largely ineffective on the road. A 3-0 victory for Celtic reflects both their attacking might and defensive robustness, alongside St Johnstone’s challenges in finding the net, particularly in high-pressure environments like Celtic Park.

Goalscorer Prediction: Kyogo Furuhashi

Furuhashi’s knack for being in the right place at the right time, combined with Celtic’s high possession and attacking style, makes him a prime candidate to score. His agility and positional awareness will challenge St Johnstone’s defence, especially during set-pieces and in open play.

Team to Score First: Celtic

Celtic’s aggressive start to matches, especially at home, and their statistical tendency to dominate early phases, suggest they will open the scoring. St Johnstone’s defensive strategy might resist initial waves of attack, but Celtic’s quality is expected to prevail initially.

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.