Preview: Celtic clear favourites against Boxing Day opponents

A fourteenth straight win against Boxing Day’s opponents will beckon for Celtic if they can prevail victorious at the Core Physio stadium tomorrow.

The Bhoys’ have picked up maximum points in every game against the ‘Accies’ since February 2016, and with the gulf in quality between the two being exemplified by the twenty-point gap that distances them at Christmas, you really would expect Neil Lennon’s side to come away with all three points; anything less would be a tragedy and such a huge blow in the title race. Hamilton, though are a side who have won just once on home soil astroturf all season and consistently battle for survival as a result – something which Celtic need to capitalize on.

Amazingly, Celtic have played away from home on their last six Boxing Day’s; although this time round it will be the least significant occurance given that no fans are being allowed into grounds for what seems like longer than even the very distant future. Not that it should matter, though – Celtic have won every Boxing Day fixture they’ve faced since 2011, so it would take something of a Christmas miracle to drop points in Lanarkshire. Having said that, The Bhoys’ have been in stellar form recently having won their last four games – including completing the illustrious quadruple treble at Hampden – and bowing out of Europe with a bang against Lille, so turning over Brian Rice’s side should be no problem whatsoever.

There is no fresh injury news from the physio room at Lennoxtown – Mikey Johnston returned to the pitch against Ross County in midweek in a bid to increase his match fitness, whilst James Forrest is the only definitive absentee.

After watching the game against the Staggies’, I believe the team will be close to being the same as it was on Tuesday; perhaps the only change could be Odsonne Edouard’s return to the bench following his poor recent form, with a revert back to a 4-2-3-1 (as opposed to midweek’s 4-1-3-2) – with Moi Elyounoussi and Mikey Johnston the ones edging for a return to the starting XI and Leigh Griffiths being the fox in the box upfront.

Potential starting lineup: Hazard, Frimpong, Ajer, Jullien, Taylor, Soro, McGregor, Christie, Turnbull, Johnston, Griffiths

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