Hibs v Celtic preview: Allan to return? Key man suspended | Where to watch on TV

Hibs welcome Celtic to Easter Road on Saturday afternoon (12.30pm) kick-off for a TV fixture.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 3:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th September 2019, 4:35 pm
Hibs defeated Celtic 2-0 last season at Easter Road. Picture: SNS

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Former Hibs striker doubles down on mocking of Kilmarnock after Betfred Cup win

It will be the first of two occasions these teams will clash in front of the cameras in the space of a little over a month following the Betfred Cup draw which pitted the pair against each other at the semi-final stage.

Paul Heckingbottom watched his side come from behind in a penalty shoot-out to defeat Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

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They did so having rode their luck and with ten men following Ryan Porteous' sending off.

It is the type of result which can help turn the tide. Yet, they don't have it easy in the league with Celtic coming to Leith on Saturday and then a trip to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen,

Heckingbottom mixed it up with the team on Wednesday with Florian Kamberi and Scott Allan on the bench, while Tom James came in at right-back.

The defence are likely to be busy with Odsonne Edoaurd, James Forrest and Ryan Christie in fine form, plus a raft of other attackers they can call on.

Team news

Ryan Porteous will miss the game following his midweek red card against Kilmarnock. Darren McGregor and Vykintas Slivka will likely miss out, as will long-term absentees David Gray and Martin Boyle.

Possible Hibs line-up

4-5-1 - Maxwell; James, Jackson, Hanlon, Stevenson; Mallan, Hallberg, Vela, Allan, Middleton; Doidge. Subs from: Marciano, Naismith, Whittaker, Kamberi, Newell, Shaw, Murray.

Magic number

107 - The number of shots Hibs have faced in the league this term. No team has conceded more. Celtic have recorded the second highest number of shots (99).

Key battle

Tom James was brought in for Jason Naismith for the Betfred Cup clash with Killie and he will face a tougher test on Sunday with the likelihood he will be up against James Forrest. The Celtic winger has been in excellent form with two league goals and a a further five assists. Neil Lennon has moved the player around the attacking berths but has most recently been playing from the left where he can go outside and deliver crosses or infield and shoot. James will have to be extra vigilant to his scampering and communicate well with whomever is in front of him and the right-hand side centre-back.

What Heckingbottom said:“It’s not a dress rehearsal,” he said of the Celtic game having been drawn against them in the Betfred Cup semi-final. “It’s a league game. When the cup comes round, it’s a totally different experience.”

Referee

Kevin Clancy will once against be in the middle for the Easter Road fixture. It will be his third Hibs game this season having take charge of the Betfred Cup win over Alloa Athletic and defeat at Kilmarnock in the league.

How to watch

The match, kicking off at 12.30, is live on BT Sport 2. The programme begins at midday. It will also be available to international subscribers on Hibs TV, while UK subscribers can enjoy live audio commentary.

Odds

Hibs 15/2 Draw 19/5 Celtic 4/11