Celtic are not having the perfect season by any measure, but domestically, at least, they appear to be getting a handle on things once again.
Brendan Rogers’ ‘double-triple’ winners progressed through to the final of the League Cup on Sunday by recording a 3-0 win over Premiership leaders Hearts at Murrayfield, while a week earlier they beat Hibs 4-2 at Parkhead to send a warning to their league rivals.
Nevertheless, their position remains unfamiliar, they are third in the standings behind Hearts and Kilmarnock heading into Wednesday’s trip to Dens Park to tackle Dundee.
The Dark Blues are in the midst of a truly dreadful start to the season, having lost nine of their first 10 matches of the season and if they were to take anything from Wednesday’s match it would be a massive bonus.
|Game||Dundee vs Celtic|
|Date||Wednesday, October 31|
|Time||7:45pm GMT / 3:45pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be streamed live on B/R Live.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2 and via the BT Sport app.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|BT Sport 2||BT Sport|
Squads & Team News
|Defenders||Meekings, O'Dea, Boyle, Kusunga, Inniss, Ralph, Miller, Kerr|
|Midfielders||Kamara, Madianga, Curran, McGowan, Spence, Deacon, N'Gwatala|
|Forwards||Nabi, Moussa, Mendy, Miller, Kallman|
On-loan Celtic defender Calvin Miller is ineligible for Dundee, who are bereft of Josh Meekings due to injury.
Paul McGowan and Nathan Ralph are doubts in the midfield, while Genseric Kusunga and Sofien Moussa are also worries.
Possible Dundee XI: Hamilton; Kerr, Inniss, O’Dea, Boyle; Curran, Kamara, Madianga, Kallman, N'Gwatala; Miller
|Goalkeepers||Gordon, Bain, Hazard|
|Defenders||Hendry, Simunovic, Gamboa, Boyata, Benkovic, Lustig, Ajer, Ralston, Tierney, Izaguirre|
|Midfielders||Brown, Sinclair, Hayes, Morgan, Christie, Rogic, Ntcham, Mulumbu, McGregor, Forrest, Eboue, Arzani|
|Forwards||Griffiths, Edouard, Johnston|
Celtic’s injury problems remain chronic and they could be without as many as eight players for the midweek match.
They are notably missing Nir Bitton, Scott Brown and Youssuf Mulumbu in the midfield, where Olivier Ntcham and Eboue Kouassi are also being monitored after picking up issues at the weekend.
Jozo Simunovic, Cristian Gamboa and Leigh Griffiths are also missing.
Possible Celtic XI: Gordon; Lustig, Benkovic, Boyata, Tierney; Morgan, Kouassi; Forrest, Rogic, McGregor; Edouard
Betting & Match Odds
Celtic are heavy 2/11 favourites according to bet365. Dundee are 12/1 underdogs, while a draw is priced at 6/1.
An uncharacteristically poor start to the season has left Celtic playing catch up in the Scottish Premiership as they seek an eighth successive league crown.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are six points off the pace of leaders Hearts, albeit with a game in hand, having suffered two defeats in their first nine matches of the campaign.
It is not a situation that the Hoops have grown used to, yet it is one that they must respond in.
Recent weeks have started to see echoes of the dominant outfit that has swept the board in Scotland in each of the last two years. St Johnstone were thumped 6-0 away from home before a tricky home match against Hibs was overcome thanks to a 4-2 scoreline.
Sunday’s 3-0 success over Hearts at Murrayfield in the League Cup was simply confirmation that although they may be below their usual standing, they remain very much the team to beat.
“It’s important for us to try and build on the semi-final win,” Callum McGregor told the club’s official website.
“We want to try and start better in the game and if we can take from the semi-final performance, we can try and build confidence from that.”
Certainly, they start as red hot favourites to overcome bottom side Dundee on Wednesday, with Jim McIntyre’s men having been in wretched form this season.
They have yet to earn a point at home this season, while they have lost four of their last six Premiership matches by three goals or more.
If Celtic were to become the Dens’ Park side’s second victims of the league season, it would be a stunning upset and a huge setback to the Hoops, who have promised to carry their full focus into the fixture.
"We will need to be wary of Dundee. Especially when teams play Celtic, it’s like a cup final for them and form goes out of the window. They raise their game and you need to match that, and hopefully our quality will take over," McGregor concluded.