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Nov 20, 2021 at 5.15pm UK
St JohnstoneSt Johnstone
Forrest (74')
Bitton (14'), Furuhashi (56'), Turnbull (83')
FT(HT: 0-0)

McCart (55'), Bryson (56'), Davidson (64'), Rooney (75'), Crawford (90+4'), Craig (90+6')

Preview: Celtic vs. St Johnstone - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Celtic vs. St Johnstone - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish League Cup clash between Celtic and St Johnstone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Celtic shall be hoping to continue their eight-match unbeaten streak this Saturday when the Scottish League Cup returns as the Hoops host St Johnstone.

The visitors have improved their form heading into this fixture and shall be hoping they can continue that as they attempt to retain the trophy that they won last season.

Match preview

After a slow start to the season, Celtic managed to get a great run of form going in October and early November in order to get back on track.

The Hoops have gone eight matches without a loss in all competitions, with only one draw in that period, showcasing the confidence that the team has at the moment.

Celtic have been the strongest attacking outfit in the Scottish Premier League this season, having scored 30 goals already in the opening 13 fixtures, which is more than anybody else.

Both Jota and Kyogo Furuhashi have been a big part of that, and they each got a brace in their most recent outing against Dundee, which resulted in a 4-2 victory.

The club have already made a massive improvement on their performance in the Scottish League Cup from last season where they were knocked out in the second round.

However, with a place in the final on the line and a potential Old Firm derby to take place in that game, the Hoops will be heading into this one fully focused.

Celtic have defeated Hearts and Raith Rovers in order to reach this stage, scoring three goals in each match, showcasing their offensive capabilities.

Their opponents had to work a little harder to get there, beating Arbroath on penalties in the second round after a 2-2 draw, before defeating Dundee 2-0.

For St Johnstone, the season has proven to be hard, having won just three games in the league, they now sit just four points above the relegation zone, which is why the cup distraction is so important.

It was only at the end of October when they last played Celtic, but they suffered a 2-0 defeat on that day, with Giorgos Giakoumakis and Josip Juranovic on target.

However, following that loss the performances have improved with the Saints being undefeated since that stage, which they shall be hoping to continue on Saturday.

Callum Davidson has seen his squad keep two clean sheets in their previous games and those type of defensive capabilities will be needed heading into this match.

Last season the Saints went all the way and won the Scottish League Cup, defeating Livingston in the final, and once again the club has the opportunity to achieve that goal.

Celtic Scottish League Cup form:
  • W
  • W

Celtic form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

St Johnstone Scottish League Cup form:
  • W
  • W

St Johnstone form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D

Team News

Celtic might be missing Stephen Welsh on Saturday as he was forced to come off during his recent performance for Scotland's Under-21s side, but he has insisted he is fit and available.

Both Jota and Furuhashi will be keen to continue their form in front of goal as of late in this cup tie, with their firepower potentially being crucial to booking a place in the final.

The visitors will be able to rely upon Chris Kane despite his red card in St Johnstone's most recent outing, with his suspension kicking in from the next match.

However, they could be without Glenn Middleton after he suffered an injury on international duty with Scotland, which could provide an opportunity for Stevie May.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Juranovic; Bitton, Jota, McGregor, Turnbull, Adaba; Furuhashi

St Johnstone possible starting lineup:
Clark; Gordon, Muller, McCart; O'Halloran, Davidson, Bryson, Booth; May, Crawford, Kane

We say: Celtic 2-1 St Johnstone

While on paper this match seems a simple one to predict, cup football always provides curveballs and surprises, which is what this semi-final could offer.

St Johnstone's form has improved as of late and they will no doubt put up a firm fight, but the attacking qualities that Celtic have should prove to be too much.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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