To be played on Saturday 11th April 2015 at 12:45. Venue: Caledonian Stadium, Inverness.
Odds: Inverness 5/1, draw 3/1, Celtic 1/2
The Bhoys won their midweek fixture against Partick Thistle to maintain their five-point lead over Aberdeen at the top of the table, with their retention of the league title looking ever more inevitable.
Caley are third in the table but are 18 points adrift of Celtic and nine away from Aberdeen, whilst Dundee United who sit one place below them are eight points away, making it highly unlikely that they will move from third this season.
John Hughes’ side have suffered a blip in form lately and haven’t won any of their last six league games, losing three and drawing three with only a Scottish FA Cup win to their name in their last seven.
Their current run is the worst they have suffered all season but with the Scottish Cup Final following this game Caley will need to set a marker or face a similar fate to Dundee United, who struggled playing the Hoops in successive matches.
Deila’s side come into the game in fine form, winning their last five in all competitions and the last three league games in a row, as well as beating Caley in four of the last six outings between the two, drawing one and losing one.
Inverness have proved they have the capacity to beat their visitors already this season with a 1-0 win in August, with Celtic narrowly winning by the same margin at the start of November thanks to a John Guidetti goal.
Celtic welcome Scott Brown back into the team after serving his one match ban, with Deila having the option to rotate his strikers as he see’s fit.
Long-term absentees Charlie Mulgre (hamstring tendon) and Mikael Lustig (ankle) both miss out as they continue their recovery.
Richie Foran remains the only player to miss out for Inverness with Hughes having no fresh injury worries ahead of the game.
Predicted Inverness line-up
Esson, Raven, Warren, Meekings, G Shinnie, Doran, Draper, Williams, Tansey, Ross, Watkins,
Predicted Celtic line-up
Gordon, Izaguirre, Denayer, van Djik, Matthews, Biton, Brown, Johansen, Commons, Armstrong, Griffiths