Celtic on verge of title as Hearts aim to put celebrations on ice

The Hoops can secure a second trophy of the season with a win against a Hearts side with European ambitions.

Celtic on verge of Scottish Premiership title as Hearts aim to put celebrations on ice SNS Group

Celtic will wrap up their second straight title of the Ange Postecoglu era with a win at Hearts this afternoon.

The Hoops are on track for a domestic treble having lifted the Viaplay Cup earlier this year and will take another step towards a record-breaking eighth trio of trophies if they pick up three points at Tynecastle.

The Glasgow side, who have the Scottish Cup final to look forward to at the end of the domestic campaign, were victorious on their last trip to Gorgie, eventually coming out 4-3 winners in a dramatic, VAR-dominated contest.

Defeat or a draw could even be good enough for Celtic if Rangers fail to beat Aberdeen at Ibrox, with that match kicking off 45 minutes later.

But boss Postecoglu insists he is keen to wrap up proceedings at the earliest possible opportunity against a Hearts side entrenched in a fight for European football.

“This group of players have experienced this kind of build-up to a big game over the last 20 months and were in this position last year and have had a couple of semi-finals and finals,” he said.

“They know there is a bit of hype and excitement around these big games and they know there’s outcomes that can be pretty special at the end of it, but they have been pretty focused on just playing our football.

“They are human beings, they know what’s at stake and they know what the potential of a positive result is.

“They will take that into the game but they will still be clear on how we play our football and it’s a difficult place to play.

“Hearts have still got a lot to play for so the beauty of it is if we do do it we will have to earn it and that’s the only way you want to do it.”

The Jambos thrashed Ross County 6-1 in their last game before the Premiership split, ending a run of five straight defeats which included an Edinburgh derby loss to Hibernian.

Their city rivals moved within a point after victory over St Mirren on Saturday and interim manager Steven Naismith – who replaced Robbie Neilson last month – is keen to put Celtic’s celebrations on ice for another week at least.

“If we start fast and get the crowd something to back, then they’ll back it and it will be a great atmosphere,” he said.

“Every game at home, that’s what we need to do to get ourselves the backing of the fans which then gives us more confidence on the pitch.

“We did it well against Ross County and hopefully we can do it again on Sunday.”

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