Celtic - Hearts Betting Preview: Hosts are value to pile more misery on John McGlynn's men

Neil Lennon's men were winners in Russia in midweek and Willie Duncan expects the Hoops to enjoy another victory on Sunday when they host a struggling Hearts side
Celtic enjoyed their first ever victory away from home in the group stages of the Champions League when they enjoyed a 3-2 triumph over Spartak Moscow in midweek and Neil Lennon’s side will be eager to keep the momentum going when they play host to Heart of Midlothian on Sunday afternoon.

Since suffering a shock defeat at the hands of St Johnstone last month, the Hoops have responded in style, winning four of their five matches in all competitions.

As a result of the upturn in their fortunes, they are chalked up as red-hot favourites at 3/10 (1.30) with William Hill to see off John McGlynn’s out-of-sorts side at the weekend.

The visitors began their domestic campaign with a convincing 2-0 win over St Johnstone but have enjoyed just one win in seven subsequent league matches.

After they were comprehensively beaten by Kilmarnock at Tynecastle last weekend it is no surprise to see the 2012 Scottish Cup winners chalked up at a chunky 8/1 (9.0) with William Hill.

The same firm offer 4/1 (5.0) that the visitors claim a share of the spoils on Sunday.

Gary Hooper netted seven goals for Neil Lennon’s side in five meetings between the sides last season, and there's no doubt that the Englishman will be relishing the prospect of lining up against the Hearts once again.

Hooper is chalked up at 11/4 (3.75) with William Hill and, given the striker’s prolific form against the visitors, it is no surprise to see the same firm offer up the same 11/4 (3.75) quote for the Englishman to bag two or more.

Hearts have struggled to hit the net so far this term, failing to score in three of their last five league matches.

Indeed, their failings in front of goal is underlined by the fact that centre-back Marius Zaliukas is the club’s top scorer so far this season with just three goals while 17 year old Callum Paterson, who started the season at right-back, has most recently been deployed in a lone striker role in an attempt to solve the goalscoring problems of the Tynecastle men.

Paterson is available at 11/1 (12.0) with William Hill to open the scoring on Sunday while the same firm offer a chunky 20/1 (21.0) that Zaliukas again hits the net for his side at any time here.

It looks likely to be another difficult afternoon for the men in maroon, though, and the 7/10 (1.70) for the rampant Hoops to lead at both half time and full time looks like great value while that man Hooper can be backed at a tasty 11/4 (3.75) to haunt Hearts once again.

Celtic to lead at half time and full time at 7/10 (1.70) with William Hill
Gary Hooper to score first at 11/4 (3.75) 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