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Neil Lennon's man can go to the top of the Scottish Premiership with victory over Allan Johnston's struggling side and our tipster expects the Hoops to grab an early goal

Celtic crashed out of the Scottish League Cup on Tuesday when they were defeated by Championship side Greenock Morton and Neil Lennon’s men will be eager to bounce back when they take on struggling Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the setback against Morton, the Hoops are hot favourites to claim all three points from their trip to Ayrshire with William Hill chalking up an away win at just 4/11 (1.36) this weekend.

Allan Johnston’s side are still looking for their first win of the new campaign and can be backed at a chunky 13/2 (7.50) with William Hill to shock the Hoops on Saturday. The draw is rated as a 7/2 (4.50) chance with the same firm.

If Killie are to stand any chance of upsetting the Scottish champions, they will require a big performance from former Rangers striker Kris Boyd.

The 30-year-old front man has scored three goals in the Scottish Premiership so far this term and is chalked up at 8/1 (9.0) to score at any time in a win for the hosts – a special “headline offer” from William Hill.

Celtic full-back Charlie Mulgrew, who has been operating in midfield for Neil Lennon’s men this term – is available at 8/1 (9.0) to score at any time in a win for the Hoops as part of William Hill's "headline offer" – a price which represents decent value given that Mulgrew is a dead-ball specialist.

With a crunch Champions League clash against Barcelona at Celtic Park on the horizon for Neil Lennon’s men, they will be desperate to secure a morale-boosting win at Rugby Park as they seek to shake off memories of the midweek defeat.

The Hoops have a 100 per cent record on the road in the league this term, having enjoyed victories over Aberdeen, Dundee United and Heart of Midlothian respectively and they will be confident of seeing off Kilmarnock this weekend.

The 17/20 (1.85) quote from William Hill for Celtic (-1) in the handicap market is sure to attract plenty of support but the Hoops have won by a margin greater than one goal in just two of their six league matches this term so better value can be found elsewhere.

Celtic will certainly be keen to make a quick breakthrough against Allan Johnston’s side and, with that in mind, the 19/20 (1.95) quote for the Hoops to score inside the opening 30 minutes is the recommended play in this game.

The Hoops scored twice in the opening half hour against St Johnstone in their last Premiership game and were ahead inside 30 minutes against Hearts in their last away game in the division.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
Celtic first goal up to and including 30th minute at 19/20 (1.95) 2pts stake with William Hill

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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