Celtic have recorded eight straight home wins against Hearts at Paradise and they haven’t tasted defeat in this fixture since the visitors claimed a 2-1 victory in the Scottish Cup back in 2012.
The historic record between these two sides combined with Celtic’s five match winning streak in the SPFL since the turn of the year point towards victory for the hosts this evening, but Neil Lennon’s side cannot afford to be complacent with Rangers breathing down their necks in the race for the title.
The Hoops have consolidated their position at the summit of the division since returning from the winter break, and they also booked a place in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday with a 3-0 win away at Clyde.
Lennon made a host of changes for the weekend clash, but FFC expect the 48-year-old will restore many of his first-team regulars to the starting XI tonight, making a total of six changes in all.
We anticipate that Leigh Griffiths, Neil Taylor, Callum McGregor, Fraser Forster, Odsonne Edouard and Stephen Welsh will all be involved in the lineup tonight.
Patryk Klimala, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mortiz Bauer, Scott Bain, Boli Bolingoli and Ryan Christie make way for the aforementioned players, with Lennon starting the same XI that dispatched of Hamilton 4-1 at the start of the month.
There’s no place for Elyounoussi in the lineup despite his return from injury last weekend as Lennon’s preference for a defensive trio paves no obvious path for a route back into the side.
Stephen Welsh, meanwhile, makes his home debut for the club in a game in which the hosts are bound to dominate possession. The youngster’s composure and ability to distribute from deep could prove to be a useful asset for the Bhoys.
In other Celtic news, Lennon has received a transfer boost in pursuit of exciting wing-wizard…