Potential Problems – How Motherwell Could Be a Major Stumbling Block for Celtic

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Celtic have been on an impeccable run of form in the Scottish Premiership so far this season, putting together performances that have blown all but two sides away and conceding only seven goals in the process.

However, there are some threats that could rear their ugly head and give Brendan Rodgers his first league defeat since his return. Read on to find out more about Celtic’s strong form, the potential causes for concern and how best to respond to any dangers.

Celtic’s Impeccable Season So Far

Both major Glasgow clubs are somewhat used to dominating on a domestic level at the start of a season, but in 2023/24 the Bhoys are taking their hold over the league to a new level. After thirteen matches the club’s goal difference sits at 27, without a single loss to their name. For comparison, the Ibrox club, in second place, have three losses to their name, and are a long way from applying any real pressure to their rivals. That includes four consecutive home wins, something that their opponents Motherwell will look to bring to an end.

Cause for Concern

In Europe, on the contrary to their Scottish performances, Celtic have been fairly poor. Although a 2-2 draw in the first fixture against Atletico Madrid showed some signs of promise, the 6-0 battering in the return match is sure to be something that gives Brendan Rodgers something to consider. Not only that, but the Celts created an xG of 0.0, proving that they couldn’t create any real threat against their opponents.

Similarly, whilst it didn’t lead to a poor result, conceding first against St Mirren earlier in the month will be a potential worry for the side. A lot of the Premiership will happily concede possession, especially when at Celtic Park, and look to create an opportunity on the counter. It took a late goal from Oh Hyeon-gyu to secure all three points when St Mirren came to visit, and there’s always a risk that they won’t be so lucky next time.

The Motherwell Issue

Of all the sides to face after losing to Atletico Madrid (even with a pummelling against Aberdeen), Motherwell are one of the worst to face. Their disciplinary record of 34 yellow and 2 red cards says it all; they are more than happy to make the game scrappy and force Celtic to lose their structure through persistent fouling, playing deep and striking on the counter. The visitors might be on an incredibly poor run of form, but that simply serves to make the Celts an even more prestigious scalp to claim for a team desperate to turn things around.

How Brendan Rodgers Can React

There are a few steps that the Bhoys can take to make a victory as secure as possible against Motherwell, the first of which is a change in mentality. Where the recent 6-0 battering of Aberdeen saw a team willing to throw everything at the wall and see if it sticks, more of an emphasis on ball retention and carefully creating chances without losing possession will be key. The away side can be deadly on the counter, and won’t be afraid to sit relatively deep to wait for mistakes.

Similarly, having the ball in these dangerous areas could cause real issues for Stuart Kettlwell’s side, as their defending is often relatively clumsy. Winning free kicks in dangerous areas could be a key to taking victory in this match as Celtic’s skilful wingers will be a big challenge for a back line that is already firmly out of form.

Celtic vs Motherwell Predictions and Odds

Rodgers’ tactical ability should be more than a match for the away side here, with the quality of players, form and home advantage all on his side. Bookmakers consider Celtic to be favorites at 1/7 with the betMGM sportsbook offer, with the only real threat of Motherwell’s 20/1 victory being a collapse in discipline amongst the Celts in this fixture.

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