One match is scheduled to be played in the Scottish Premiership on the opening Sunday of August and it takes place in Glasgow where Celtic host Hamilton from 16:30 GMT. Last season’s champions will unfurl the league flag for a ninth time in nine years and armchair fans can follow the play at Parkhead live on television.
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Celtic have dominated Scottish football in recent years and many pundits expect the Bhoys to continue that trend this season and seal a record-breaking 10 Scottish Premiership titles in-a-row. Both Celtic and Rangers have won nine in the past but neither side have managed to finish the job and move into double figures. Will we see history made this term? Hamilton will be out to deliver an early blow to their opponent’s chances.
The Bhoys beat Accies 2-1 when the pair last faced off at this venue back in December of 2019 in what was an entertaining match. Christie scored the opening on 13 minutes but there was late drama as Ogkmpoe netted for Hamilton on 90 minutes with another goal scored by Brown for Celtic just seconds later. Neutrals will hope this renewal matches up to the excitement of that day.
Celtic chasing 10 titles
Celtic won their ninth Premiership title in controversial circumstances after the league was called early and the prizes handed out on an average points per game basis. It is likely the Hoops would have won the trophy in any case, but supporters of most other clubs wanted to see the league played to a finish, as it was in England, Italy, Spain, and many other European nations. It will not matter to the Celtic loyal as their club now stand on the edge of history and have a real chance to get off to a winning start and take command of the Premiership in the opening week.
The Hoops suffered a rare home defeat against rivals Rangers near the end of last year and that seemed to spark Neil Lennon’s troops to life. They failed to live up to expectations in the knockout rounds of the Europa League but barely put a foot wrong domestically, winning both the Premiership and the League Cup. Last season’s Scottish Cup will finish this term which gives Celtic a chance to finish what they started and win the treble. Everything is rosy in the garden of Parkhead. Will the feel-good factor continue this season?
There hasn’t been as much movement at Parkhead in terms of summer signings as fans would have hoped for but there’s still plenty of time for Lennon to bolster his squad and the manager moved to assure fans he will do just that in the near future. The home team are in the market for a goalkeeper and have the cash to spend after fans rushed out to purchase season tickets. Lennon will want to make sure he gets things right in what is an important season for the club.
Accies low on numbers
It is fair to say the fixture list hasn’t been kind to Hamilton as the club faces the unenviable task of going to the home of last season’s champions and this year’s favourites. Everyone connected to Accies, from the players and coaching staff to the club’s fanbase will know exactly the size of the task head of them on Sunday and cringe when recalling some of the heavy defeats they have suffered at this venue over the years. They must set up defensively and hope to catch their opponents cold on the opening game of the season.
Hamilton are extremely lucky to be playing Premiership football this season as they finished last term second bottom of the league and stuck in the relegation zone. Under normal circumstances, they would have faced a shootout against the winner of the Championship playoffs for a place in the top division this year. Due to the reduced season all playoff matches were cancelled meaning Hamilton remained in the league and bottom club Hearts were relegated. The players and staff must now heed the warnings of last season and learn from them if they are to avoid another campaign spent mixing it at the wrong end of the charts.
Manager Brian Rice knows a difficult few months lie ahead as he aims to strengthen his side on a limited budget. The gaffer must raid the loans market and shop for free players or summer bargains if he is to have any chance of attracting a better class of player to the club and he may be pushed into playing the numbers game as Hamilton’s squad is beginning to look threadbare. Many of last season’s players saw their contracts expired and they have not yet been replaced. The early signs certainly aren’t promising for Hamilton fans.
Celtic vs Hamilton prediction
Celtic are the Scottish champions and enjoy home advantage. The better calibre of player will also come out of the away dressing room and the Hoops fans will be confident their side can get off to a winning start. They’ll know Neil Lennon’s side are far from the finished article at present, but the current squad are fit and raring to go for a big season.
Hamilton may be low on numbers and confidence but know this is the first game of the season and anything can happen. If Celtic are slow out of the blocks or lacking fitness following an extended summer break, then Accies are good enough to punish them. They must be well-organised in defence and take any chances that fall their way at the opposite end of the pitch. Rice’s men must show their character on Sunday.
Scottish Premiership odds
The betting odds have been set on this match with Celtic priced as odds favourites for the three points. A Celtic win at home is 1/11 with the odds on Hamilton causing an upset 55/2. A draw is available to members at 975/100. Running in while the game is ongoing? Live soccer betting should be available as well.