Celtic travel to Ayrshire to take on Kilmarnock, as they look to clinch the Scottish Premiership at Rugby Park on Wednesday evening.

Following Brendan Rodgers’ side’s 2-1 defeat of Rangers on Saturday, Celtic only need one more point to retain their league title. They face a Derek McInnes side that have beaten them twice already this season – both at Rugby Park – in the League Cup and Premiership respectively.

The last time the two teams met, they played out a 1-1 draw in Glasgow, thanks to a late David Watson equaliser in stoppage time that cancelled out Kyogo’s opener. For the home side, they were successful on their travels on Saturday, defeating fellow Europe-chasers St Mirren 1-0 in Paisley.

It is a massive match, and one that Rodgers and his team will be looking to win in style. The question is: who will the manager start? The Celtic Way’s Ryan McGinlay and Tony Haggerty each have their say…

Ryan McGinlay

What was once hope has now turned into expectation and excitement concerning those of a Celtic persuasion.

Indeed, you can feel the buzz in the air with the club at the moment. With Rodgers’ side only needing one more point to retain their title after a manic season, many – including myself – just want this league wrapped up as soon as possible. It may be finalised before Celtic take to the field, but another healthy dose of revenge could – and should – be on the cards for a team who have had joy against the champions this season.

Kilmarnock have had far too much joy against Celtic this campaign, and it is time for the visitors to Rugby Park to put a halt to it. Because of this, I predict Celtic to go with an unchanged team to the one that defeated Rangers at the weekend.

In goals, Joe Hart will take part in his final away match for the club, where he will be hoping for as quiet a game as last time out in the Glasgow Derby. It will be an unchanged backline, as Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liam Scales will slot in at centre-back, whilst Alistair Johnston and Greg Taylor will occupy the left and right-back roles respectively. In the case of Scales and Taylor especially, they will have to keep it solid at the back, as they were caught out a few times last time out. The latter pair will be hoping to keep up their good form of late.

Moving on to the midfield, Rodgers will elect to continue with his captain Callum McGregor, who was immense on Saturday. He will be joined by Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley, with both looking to cause havoc in the creative areas of the engine room. For O’Riley, he will be hoping to celebrate his treble win at the Celtic POTY awards with another good performance, of which there have been many in recent times. I’d quite like to see a complete return to form for Hatate, as he has been toiling in recent games. Now is the time to get back on form, ahead of the Scottish Cup final at the end of the month.
In the forward areas, Kyogo will be looking to get back on the scoresheet after drawing a blank versus Rangers, whilst James Forrest and Daizen Maeda will play at right and left-back for the club. If the team is not broke, then don’t bother trying to fix it. If they can defeat Rangers at home, then they're more than good enough to dispatch of Kilmarnock on their own turf.

Celtic to clinch the title in style on Wednesday night. Expect goals, good play and celebrations at full-time.

Ryan’s team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley; Forrest, Kyogo, Maeda

Tony Haggerty


"Well here we are and here we are and here we go, all together for three in a row. Here we go, rockin’ all over the world.” It's 'Status Quo' time for Rodgers and his Celtic team as they head to Rugby Park seeking the point that will clinch the Scottish Premiership title.

It's been a long road, but Celtic are close to finally being able to rock all over the world and celebrate the league flag heading back to Paradise. Derek McInnes will no doubt be sending his men out to see if they can claim the scalp of the champions-elect for an unprecedented third time this season. Those defeats still rankle with McGregor and co. and that should be enough to get Celtic over the championship line in Ayrshire assuming of course that Rangers beat Dundee at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

The Northern Irishman's side does have a point to prove against Kilmarnock who have had a wonderful campaign in their own right. Revenge is not what Celtic are all about in this instance but there will be something wholly satisfying for Rodgers and his green and white army if they can come full circle and win the title at Rugby Park the scene of two of their most insipid displays of the season. Lightning won't strike three times.

With that in mind, Hart will play his third last game for Celtic and the clock is ticking down on the shot-stopper's glorious career. Johnston and Taylor will be deployed as right and left-back respectively. Carter-Vickers who did his best Ronald Koeman impersonation with the long diagonal pass that picked put Maeda for the second goal against Rangers in the Glasgow Derby will partner Scales in the central defence.

The tried and rested midfield triumvirate of McGregor, Hatate and O'Riley will ride again. The Danish international showed why he should be Scottish Football's Player of the Year with a masterclass against Rangers on Saturday. After scooping a hat-trick of awards at the club's Player of the Year awards night,  the only blot on O'Riley's copybook was his fluffed penalty which was saved by Jack Butland and which he readily admitted was shit. That prevented O'Riley from having the mother of all Carlsberg weekends.

In attack, the effervescent Maeda will start once again on the left wing with evergreen Forrest on the right. They will be charged with the task of supplying Kyogo. Can Kyogo or Maeda emulate Shunsuke Nakamura and bag a title-winning goal at Rugby Park just as their compatriot did for Gordon Strachan's Celtic in 2007?

So it's the Status Quo for Rodgers. Celtic to win by a handsome margin and it will be 'Marguerita Time' when they do. Glasgow Celtic... champions! I'll drink to that!

Tony's team: Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Hatate, O'Riley; Forrest, Kyogo, Maeda.