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BAILLY SET TO REPLACE DE VRIES ON CELTIC BENCH

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FORGOTTEN man Logan Bailly is poised to make a Celtic comeback as the Hoops chase their first treble in 16 years.
The former Belgian international keeper hasn’t figured in a competitive game for Brendan Rodgers this season.
However, the 31-year-old shotstopper, signed by Ronny Deila from OHL Leuven in July 2015, is likely to be promoted to stand-by for Craig Gordon in the remaining months of the campaign.
Dorus de Vries, who rejoined his ex-Swansea boss Rodgers in August after a £400,000 switch from Nottingham Forest, requires surgery on an ankle problem.
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The Dutch veteran, who started five games following his arrival from the Championship outfit before losing out to Gordon at the end of September, now looks to be sidelined for the rest of term.
De Vries has been an unused back-up goalie for the last 32 games.
Bailly, who knocked back an emergency loan move to Raith Rovers last month, is now ready to take his place on the substitutes’ bench.
The former Borussia Monchengladbach star, who picked up eight caps for his country, played in the pre-season friendly 1-0 win over Sturm Graz in Austria in July before injuring an ankle in training.
That blow forced him to sit out the start of the season.
The champions’ other keeper Leo Fasan joined Port Vale on a temporary transfer in January.
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CELTIC STATS AND TARGETS

CELTIC’S second draw of this season’s league campaign is the big talking point in Scottish football this week, but what are the targets that Brendan Rodgers will have for his side for the rest of this, his first season as Celtic manager?

The Betfred Cup went back to Paradise last November as Celtic easily swept Aberdeen aside in a 3-0 one-sided Cup Final victory.

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The Scottish Premiership is all but in the bag and a two wins in the next two games will make it 6 in a row as Celtic get closer to the magical Ten. Indeed if Hearts win at Pittodrie on Saturday, Celtic can clinch the title as early as this Sunday with a win at Dens Park.

Then there’s the Scottish Cup and Sunday’s result, as Brendan Rodgers pointed out, will make Celtic more likely to prevail in the semi-final in April against the same opponents.

Celtic supporters, and indeed most neutrals watching the match, believe that referee Bobby Madden denied Celtic a late penalty kick after Clint Hill’s desperate tackle to prevent the Celtic striker scoring. Hill took the man, missed the ball and most people would label this one as a stonewaller.

Celtic dropped two points away to Inverness in September and just like yesterday they conceded a late equaliser in that game. The 1-1 draw yesterday is the only other occasion Celtic have dropped points in the Premiership.

If you put that in context of the Lisbon season of 50 years ago, Celtic actually lost twice to Dundee United and also drew 2-2 at Ibrox on the day they won the league title.

Yesterday Celtic were looking for their 23rd successive Scottish Premiership win of the season.

A victory would have edged them closer to breaking Europe’s all-time record of 29 consecutive league wins set by Portuguese giants Benfica in 1971/72.

If Celtic had picked up three points, they would have matched Swedish side Malmo’s 23-game winning streak in 1949/50.

However, Celtic are remain unbeaten against domestic opposition in 35 games during this campaign. Maintaining that unbeaten run to the season’s end will be a huge incentive for the Celtic players.

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If Brendan Rodgers’ side win their next two games, away to Dundee and Hearts, then they will be crowned Champions at Tynecastle on April 2. Celtic won at both grounds earlier in the season but both were very tight affairs so there will plenty of punters willing to support the Bhoys in these games.

If you are aiming on making a few quid on the Hoops you can find the best sporting betting websites at bettingtop10.com

Celtic are still on course to smash Europe’s largest ever title-winning margin of 31 points, currently held by Paris Saint-Germain (2015/16) and Egyptian side Al Ahly (2004/05). Celtic are currently 25 points ahead of Aberdeen in second spot.

Celtic hold the Scottish record, set in 2013/14 with a 29-point title-winning margin.

But the real target is the Treble and that means winning the semi final against yesterday’s opponents. By the time Celtic take to the Hampden pitch on Sunday April 23, they will know that if they win they will be facing either Aberdeen or holders Hibs to secure the club’s first Treble in 16 years and only the fourth in the club’s history.

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