This season sees the 72nd playing of the Scottish League Cup, which this season is known as the BetFred Cup. The tournament started with eight groups of 5 teams, including all those in the Scottish Football League other than the teams in European action. Two teams from the Highland League were also added to the group stages. Interestingly, while the 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw format was maintained, each match which finished level went to a penalty shootout and the winner received an additional point. Kilmarnock were drawn in Group E and their reward finishing second in that group is a match with defending champions Celtic, at Celtic Park.
Brendan Rodgers has enjoyed a good start to the 2017/18 season with Celtic, as they qualified for the playoff round of the Champions League. With a match against Astana to come, Celtic are confident of making it back to the group stages of the tournament. Celtic also started the defence of their Premier League title in convincing fashion, defeating Hearts 4-1 at home to take an early lead at the top of the table.
Celtic have played 5 competitive games this season, winning 4 and drawing 1 which makes them undefeated. They are also defending a 49-match unbeaten run in domestic competition and if they win this match will stretch that run to 50 games. Celtic have won each of their last 6 home League Cup ties without conceding a goal.
Kilmarnock finished second in their League Cup group, winning 3 and losing 1 of their 4 games. The defeat came away to Ayr United in the first match and Kilmarnock responded well by winning their next 3 matches, scoring 9 goals in the process. However, Kilmarnock suffered a disappointing start to their Premiership campaign as they lost their opening fixture 2-1 at home to St Johnstone on Saturday. The match was level at 1-1 until St Johnstone struck with just 1-minute left on the clock. The last time Kilmarnock played Celtic away from home in the League Cup was 2012 and they came away with a shock 1-0 victory.
Celtic may decide to make some changes to their starting XI for this match with Champions League games to come next week. Jonathan Hayes, Tom Rogic, Stuart Armstrong, Kris Ajer, Kouassi Eboue and Dorus de Vries may all start the match. Kilmarnock have a fully fit squad available and are sure to play with a defensive formation. Kris Boyd, who scored on the weekend is likely to start in attack on his own with support from Rory McKenzie.
Top Betting Tips
Whatever team Brendan Rodgers selects for this game, it should be too strong against a team which lost at home to St Johnstone on the weekend. Celtic are 1/5 to win the game with William Hill. Last season Kilmarnock did manage to score goals in both meetings between the teams at Celtic Park and will possibly come up against a weaker defence on this occasion. Celtic to win and both teams to score is 8/5 with Ladbrokes. However, Kilmarnock conceded 9 goals in their two Premiership visits to Celtic last season and the host will be looking for more of the same in this game. Celtic to win and over 3.5 goals is 15/13 with Ladbrokes.