Partick Thistle v Celtic: Jags to make Bhoys work hard for vital win

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A midweek victory for Aberdeen over Partick Thistle on Tuesday night now sees the pressure back on league leaders Celtic ahead of their trip to Firhill.

The Bhoys’ lead at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership stands at just the solitary point but Ronnie Deila’s men do have the advantage of a game in hand.

Bagging three points in Saturday’s early kick-off would provide the Hoops with a nice cushion to their nearest pursuers as they bid for a fifth straight title.

Opponents Partick’s season could go one of two ways as well. The Jags sit in eighth place, just a couple of points away from the top half of the table.

A return to the upper echelons of the top-tier would mark a superb season for Alan Archibald’s men who haven’t finished in the top half of the Premiership table in 40 years.

They have however slipped up lately, losing three of their last four league fixtures and a return to form can’t come quick enough.

That could all be wishful thinking though, according to the bookies, with the visitors chalked up at 2/5 while a home win is 7/1.

One look at their recent record with Celtic will also strike fear into even the most optimistic Thistle fan with the Parkhead side holding an aggregate victory of 15-0 from their last six meetings.

And with Deila and Co. proving steadfast at the back recently, that run could continue.

Hamilton Academical’s Eamonn Brophy is the only man to have breached Celtic’s goal since February 2, a run of six games with just the one concession.

But while they have been tight at the back, the Glasgow outfit’s showings have left some fans feeling like they under-performing.

A 3-0 victory over Championship side Morton is as can be expected, but two straight draws in the league, against the aforementioned Accies and Dundee has seen the chasing pack close in on them.

Winning against Partick looks of vital importance to Celtic’s season, but banking on a comprehensive victory looks risky.

Instead having a small flutter on the Bhoys to take it by the odd goal, as they did in January, at 13/2 or coming out with a 2-0 (6/1) victory could offer the most value.

Thistle will be up for it as they look to move the right side of the split, and with Celtic unconvincing in the league of late a tight encounter could be on the cards.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.