Celtic will be looking to start their Scottish Premiership campaign with a win when they travel to face Hearts on Saturday at 8pm (UK time).
Hearts are back in the Premiership at the first time of asking, while Celtic will be hoping to recover from their poor title defence last season.
Hearts vs Celtic live stream:
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Where to watch Hearts vs Celtic on TV:
- UK: Sky Sports Football
- US: Paramount+
Scoreline prediction: Hearts 1-1 Celtic
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Hearts vs Celtic build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Hearts were on the unfortunate end of relegation from the 2019/20 Scottish Premiership campaign which was curtailed early, but they wasted little time in securing her return to the top flight. The Jam Tarts won the Championship title, finishing 12 points clear of second-placed Dundee, losing just four of their 27 games and leading from the sixth gameweek onwards. Their 2021/22 has already started in perfect fashion, with Hearts winning all four of their League Cup group stage games without conceding to secure their spot in the knockout stages.
Celtic’s season has also started, but it has been a continuation of their poor recent history. Now led by Ange Postecoglou after Neil Lennon’s departure, Celtic are looking to rebuild following a frankly disastrous campaign in which they finished 25 points behind Rangers, went out early in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup and failed to get past the Europa League group stage. They face another fight to reach the Europa League group stage after falling out of Champions League qualifying for the fourth consecutive season, beaten 3-2 by Midtjylland over two legs.
- Hearts (vs Inverness): Gordon; Smith, Halkett, Kingsley, Cochrane; Pollock, Halliday, Boyce; Ginnelly, Gnanduillet, Mackay-Steven.
- Celtic (vs Midtjylland): Bain; Ralston, Murray, Welsh, Taylor; McGregor, Soro, Turnbull; Abada, Edouard, Christie.
Neither side has any fresh concerns going into this season opener, but Nir Bitton will likely start for Celtic after missing the midweek Champions League defeat due to suspension.
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Player to watch: Craig Gordon (Hearts)
Last summer Craig Gordon returned to Hearts, 13 years after first leaving the club for Sunderland, having come through the Jam Tarts’ academy to become their number one goalkeeper. After spending five years at Sunderland and a two-year break, Gordon returned to Scotland and joined then-champions Celtic, immediately becoming a back of their all-conquering side.
In total, Gordon spent six years at Celtic, playing 242 times, keeping 121 clean sheets and winning 13 trophies – five league titles, five League Cups and three Scottish Cups. On his return to Hearts, Gordon became No.1 goalkeeper again and played 26 times in the league, keeping 13 clean sheets to help his boyhood club back into the Premiership. He’s also started this season in excellent form, keeping four clean sheets in the group stage of the Scottish League Cup.
Can Gordon frustrate his old side this weekend?
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