Scottish Premiership Preview

There were very few surprises in the opening week as Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers all won.
There were very few surprises in the opening week as Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers all won.
There were very few surprises in the opening week of the Scottish Premiership with Celtic, Aberdeen and Rangers all picking up maximum points. The pick of this week’s action will see Celtic travel to Patrick Thistle while Hamilton and Dundee will both look to bounce back from opening week defeats when they clash at New Douglas Park.

Friday 11 August

19/2 Partick Thistle | Draw 47/10 | Celtic 2/9 (20:45)

Patrick Thistle were well and truly beaten by Hibernian last weekend, despite taking the lead early on. The 3-1 defeat was ultimately a fair reflection on a match where the Jags struggled to deal with the excellent movement of the Hibs players. We can expect to see more of the same this week with Celtic’s classy attackers picking holes in the Partick Thistle defence almost at will. Celtic were at their irresistible best last time out as they cruised past Hearts, winning 4-1. As was to be expected, Scott Sinclair was at his mercurial best, pulling the strings against a leggy looking Hearts XI. They’ve started the season on a high and should have very little trouble dispatching of Partick Thistle. Get on Celtic to clear the (-1) Handicap at 13/20.

Saturday 12 August

39/20 Kilmarnock | 9/4 | Hearts 27/20 (16:00)

Kilmarnock will be looking to open their league account this weekend following last week’s defeat at the hands of St. Johnstone. Their performance last week simply wasn’t good enough – especially for a team who have aspirations of finishing in the top half of the table. Hearts will simply put last week’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Celtic behind them and look to restart against Kilmarnock on Saturday. The sacking of Ian Cathro has seen Jon Daly parachuted into the role in a caretaker capacity. The situation has clearly had an effect on the players who may as well have stayed on the team bus last week. Kilmarnock are the more settled of the two sides, but I simply can’t pick a winner. I don’t see many goals going in here, get on the Totals: Under 2.5 Goals at 8/10.

27/20 Hamilton | 22/10 | Dundee 39/20 (16:00)

Hamilton were soundly beaten 2-0 last time out by Aberdeen. Truth be told, they probably should have won by four or five but for some pretty average finishing from the Dons. Les Gray will need his side to show a bit more grit when Dundee come calling on Saturday. Dundee suffered a shock 2-1 reverse at the hands of Ross County at Dens Park over the weekend. The defeat would have ramped the pressure up on the southern team who will be desperate to get off the mark against Hamilton – a team who everyone generally expects to struggle this season. The away win is the way to go here. Back Dundee to get back to winning ways at a solid 39/20.

8/10 St. Johnstone | 49/20 | Motherwell 33/10 (16:00)

St. Johnstone kicked off their season with a decent 2-1 away win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park. David Wotherspoon opened the scoring for the Saints before Kris Boyd levelled matters with a rocket of a free-kick. Just as it looked as though the sides would share the spoils, Michael O’Halloran drove into the box leaving several Kilmarnock defenders in his wake as he slotted home neatly into the far corner. Motherwell were perhaps slightly unlucky not to earn a share of the spoils against Rangers. Gers have Wes Foderingham to thank for their extra two points as he saved brilliantly from Alex Fisher late on in the piece. While I don’t think Motherwell are as bad as their 33/10 price seems to suggest, I reckon the Saints should grab the points here. Get on the home win at 8/10.

13/20 Rangers | 26/10 | Hibernian 38/10 (16:00)

Rangers were made to sweat a bit for their narrow 2-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park last Sunday. Graham Dorrans popped up with two goals for the Glaswegian team either side of a Ben Heneghan header. They’ll need a far better performance when they return to the Ibrox with fans still not convinced of Pedro Caixinha. Hibs were dominant in their 3-1 victory over Partick Thistle last weekend. They’ll want to play more of the same enterprising brand of football on display at Rangers this week. One thing is for sure, Neil Lennon (former manager of Celtic) would love to grab a win over Rangers in their own back yard. Rangers should prove too strong at the Ibrox despite Hibernian’s excellent performance last week. Back the home side at 13/20.

7/2 Ross County | 26/10 | Aberdeen 7/10 (16:00)

Ross County shocked Dundee last time out, beating Neil McCann’s charges 2-1. The win will give Jim McIntyre’s side confidence, but the County gaffer will know that Scott Fox’s heroics between the sticks won’t be enough to keep a much stronger Aberdeen side at bay. The Dons got their campaign off to the ideal start with a regulation 2-0 win over Hamilton at Pittodrie Stadium. Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring for Aberdeen, flicking the ball into the net following an excellent free-kick from Greg Tansey. Miles Storey made the game safe for the home side with a delightful curled effort from just outside the area. The Dons should have won far more comfortably but for some pretty woeful finishing. Back them to get the job done against Ross County – only just.

TREBLE @ 36/10
Aberdeen Win 7/10
Celtic (-1) Handicap 13/20
Rangers Win 13/20

Written by Jason Dewey