Celtic head to Rugby Park to face Kilmarnock on Wednesday night it what could be a huge Scottish Premiership encounter.
It is Celtic’s first league game since the winter break, and the Hoops will be hoping to get the three points that will keep them at the top of the league.
What will be interesting is how the game goes. In recent seasons the Hoops have not had it easy in their trips to Kilmarnock.
Hoops have not had it easy at difficult away venue
This was even true when Steve Clarke wasn’t the manager, and when the pitch was normal turf and not an artificial surface.
For example, the Hoops once won the league at Kilmarnock thanks to a last minute goal. Shunsuke Nakamura’s free-kick in 2007 secured a 2-1 win that clinched Gordon Strachan’s second title as Celtic manager.
In more recent times, the Hoops needed a wonder goal from Tom Rogic in the last few minutes to claim a 1-0 win in 2016 that all but won the title for Ronny Deila’s side.
Last season, it took another last minute goal to pick up the three points. Scott Brown’s deflected goal helping the Hoops to a 1-0 win amid wild scenes of celebration.
Therefore, it could be a very hard game for the Hoops when they take the trip to Rugby Park. Neil Lennon won’t be expecting anything less.
Opponents are on a poor run of form
One thing that could be in Celtic’s favour though is the poor league run Kilmarnock are currently on.
They haven’t scored in a goal in their last six league games. Celtic should be able to take advantage of that statistic.
Hopefully the Hoops are able to get an early goal. That could provide the platform for what could be a comfortable victory to get the team firing once more in the Scottish Premiership.
What the Hoops don’t need is another game decided by a last-minute strike.