Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Celtic will try to get one step closer to their fifth win Scottish League Cup in six years when they are soaring Hearts in the second round on Sunday.
Both teams were eliminated at this stage of the competition last season, with the Hoops losing a surprise to Ross County while the Jam Tarts were defeated by Alloa Athletic.
Prediction for this match
After a slow start to his tenure as Celtic boss, Ange Postecoglou has finally put his team on the right track with three impressive wins on the go and scored 13 goals in the process.
Celtic’s most recent success was a comfortable 3-0 win against Czech club FK Baumit Jablonec in the second leg of the third-round qualification of the Europa League on Thursday 7-2 in the overall standings.
A bracket of David Turnbull and a strike by James Forrest helped the Hoops sail into the final round of playoffs where they will face Dutch team AZ Alkmaar later this month.
Postecoglou praised his team’s performance, praising the “incredible” atmosphere created by a packed parkhead crowd, saying it was even more exciting than he expected.
The Hoops are now turning their attention to their League Cup duel against a Hearts team, which they defeated 2-1 in their first Premiership game in July.
Celtic were disappointedly eliminated at this stage of the League Cup last season when they suffered a shocking 2-0 home defeat to Ross County, causing hundreds of fans to protest outside the stadium.
A repeat of this result would not go down well with fans yet again, although the hoops now seem in a slightly stronger position than they were at this time last year and they should be confident of making it to the quarterfinals.
Hearts held their record of 100% across all competitions when they beat St. Mirren 2-1 away in the Premiership last weekend.
Goals on either side of the half-time Andy Halliday and Liam Boyce helped the Jam Tarts secure all three paisley points and expand their winning streak to six games.
Robbie Nielson‘s men reached the top of Group A in the League Cup this season, winning all four games, albeit against opponents from the lower division, with an aggregate result of 8-0.
They are now facing a much tougher task against a formidable Celtic side, although their league win over them at Tynecastle gives them confidence that they will cause another surprise on Sunday.
The last time Hearts won at Parkhead was in April 2012 when they won the Scottish Cup 2-1 and have since lost 14 of their last 15 trips there. With their current form, Nielson hopes his squad’s positive momentum can end this run and get them across the finish line this weekend.
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Celtic will continue to be without a striker Leigh Griffiths and defense attorney Christopher Jullienwho continue to recover from related calf and knee injuries.
Central defender Stephen Welsh started the last two games in the heart of the defense and could keep his place in the team in front of the Israeli international on Sunday Nir Bitton.
Summer signature James McCarthy has been training with his new teammates since arriving from Crystal Palace and could be in the matchday squad this weekend, although the Irish midfielder is unlikely to get a spot.
Forward Kyogo Furuhashi could keep his place in front Odsonne Edouard, with Forrest and Liel Abada the most likely candidates to join the Japan international in a three-man attack.
As for hearts Jamie Walker has missed the last two games with an ankle injury but the winger could be an option this weekend.
Central defender Stephen Kingsley missed the St. Mirren win due to illness but could be available in the back three alongside Celtic John Souttar and Craig Halkett.
Winger Gary Mackay-Steven and Josh Ginnelly Both of them are expected to once again support center-forward Boyce in attack which means players like Armand Gnanduillet and Euan Henderson will start on the bench.
Celtic possible starting line-up:
Hard; Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Taylor; McGregor, Soro, Turnbull; Abada, Furuhashi, Forrest
Hearts possible starting line-up:
Gordon, Souttar, Halkett, Kingsley; Smith, Baningime, Halliday, Cochrane; Ginnelly, Boyce, Mackay-Steven
Probability: Celtic 2-1 Hearts
There was a hard-fought battle between the two teams on the opening day of the Premiership last month, and another close encounter could be on Sunday.
Celtic appears to have turned around in the last week and we believe their threat in the final third may hurt Hearts this time around.
The Jam Tarts themselves have been in brilliant shape so far this campaign, but their six-game winning streak could come to an end at Parkhead.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data