Celtic v Hearts Betting: Champions to have no mercy against outclassed visitors

James Forrest, Celtic
The Scottish champions open their defence against the manager-less Jam Tarts on Saturday and our tipster expects the goals to flow in Glasgow

Scottish champions Celtic begin the defence of their title with a home match against Heart of Midlothian on Saturday afternoon.

Brendan Rodgers' Hoops were unbeaten in domestic competition last season, chalking up 47 matches without defeat against Scottish opposition on their way to a first domestic treble in 16 years.

Celtic will, of course, be aiming to repeat the feat this season and Rodgers' men are red hot favourites to start the league campaign with three points. Indeed, Genting offer just 1/4 (1.25) that the Scottish champions come out on top against the Jam Tarts.

While a ball is yet to be kicked in the Scottish Premiership this season, Hearts have already endured a difficult start to the campaign. The Edinburgh outfit crashed out of the Scottish League Cup at the group stage in the wake of a humiliating 2-1 defeat against part-timers, Peterhead, while the team from Tynecastle also suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat in their final group game against second tier Dunfermline Athletic last weekend.

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Celtic Hearts

As a consequence of those results, Hearts sacked Head Coach Ian Cathro ahead of this weekend's Premiership opener and interim boss Jon Daly will take charge of the team at Celtic Park.

The enormity of the task facing Daly and his players is reflected by the 10/1 (11.0) quote for an away win, while the same firm go 9/2 (5.50) that the match ends all square.

Hearts have been beaten in each of their previous six encounters with Celtic - indeed, Rodgers' men have scored 11 goals without reply in their last three league meetings with Hearts and the home side will be supremely confident of further improving upon that record here. 

Celtic's self-belief was further augmented by a hard-fought 1-0 win against Rosenborg in Norway on Wednesday night - a result that saw the Hoops move into the Champions League qualification play-off round.

GFX Celtic Hearts betting

Rodgers' men can be backed at just 4/6 (1.67) to lead at both half time and full time in this fixture, while the odds compilers go 4/5 (1.80) that the Hoops chalk up a fourth consecutive victory against the Jam Tarts without conceding a goal.

Despite their dismal start to the season, however, Hearts will feel that they are capable of getting at Celtic. Former Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty has scored four goals in four competitive outings since joining the club earlier this summer and there is 23/20 (2.15) that there are goals at both ends - Celtic were 2-1 winners when they faced Hearts on the opening weekend of the Scottish Premiership season last term.

Given the apparent gulf between these teams, however, the 4/7 (1.57) quote on offer from Genting for Celtic (-1) on the handicap market looks to be a solid selection, while the same firm go 11/8 (2.38) that Rodgers' men win by at least three clear goals.

Better value, though, could lie in backing Genting's 6/5 (2.20) quote for this match to produce at least four goals. The selection would have landed in five of the last seven fixtures between these two teams and the odds-against quote appears to be worthy of consideration once again ahead of Saturday's curtain-raiser at Celtic Park.

Over 3.5 goals at 6/5 (2.20) for a 1pt stake with Genting
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