Celtic vs Hearts: Revenge is a dish best served with goals

Celtic return to domestic action today in a tasty Scottish League Cup Second round tie that gives them the chance for immediate retribution against Robbie Neilson's Hearts side.

The Hoops welcome the Edinburgh side to Parkhead, buoyed by a run of three straight wins, two clean sheets and 13 goals scored since the early season trip to Tynecastle.

Although historically, The Jambos don't travel well to the East End of Glasgow, Hearts have been in fine form this campaign and are currently unbeaten. A stat that Ange Postecoglou and his team will be hungry to discard.

Team news

The League Cup can be an opportunity to utilise the full squad, giving opportunities to players knocking on the door for a chance to prove themselves. It's also not uncommon for goalkeepers to be rotated, but I think it's fair to say that Celtic fans shouldn't expect that for this fixture.

Speaking to Celtic TV, Postecoglou said:

“I don’t think there’s any temptation to change things up too much at the moment, we’re still early in the season and the players seem to be coping well.
“Ideally, I’d like to add some more that we could rotate through, but at the moment I think the players are coping with it well, they’re enjoying their football so I can’t see too much changing at the weekend.”

These are reassuring words for the Celtic faithful. The Hoops have been much improved since the opening day defeat, playing at an electric tempo from the first whistle and putting the opposition to the sword early with a ruthlessness in front of goal. They will, of course, hope for a continuation of this trend with a consistency in team selection.

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi, Tom Rogic, David Turnbull and Liel Abada celebrate

Postecoglou will have the luxury of welcoming back Israeli teenager, Liel Abada, who was a surprise omission from Thursday's Europa League fixture, but his absence was only a precaution after picking up a knock in training. There will also be space in the squad for new signing, James McCarthy, who will make his debut in front of the home fans if he plays some part against Hearts.

Expect a fast start as Big Ange gets his first taste of domestic cup action in a competition that he will want to win this season:

“Every game and every competition is one that we want to try and compete and be successful in... cup games are always a little bit different. There’s always a bit of an edge to them given they’re knockout games, but Sunday is one we’re looking forward to."

If the performance both on and off the pitch is anything like Thursday night, both Postecoglou and the returning home support are in for a feast of football.

Predicted Celtic XI vs Hearts:

Hart, Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Taylor, Soro, McGregor, Turnbull, Abada, Christie, Furuhashi

Match info

Where: Celtic Park

When: Sunday 3pm

Watch: Premier Sports 1

Referee: John Beaton

How are you feeling ahead of the match? Let us know in the comments below.