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Scottish Premiership Preview

Gameweek 8 of the SPL kicks off on Friday with the remainder of the division playing on Saturday.
Gameweek 8 of the SPL kicks off on Friday with the remainder of the division playing on Saturday.
It was business as usual for Celtic last week as they cruised past Rangers in the first Old Firm Match of the season, while Aberdeen managed to stay in touch with an away win over Motherwell.

This week sees yet another full set of fixtures with St. Johnstone’s trip to the Dons the pick of the bunch. Elsewhere, Celtic welcome Hibernian to Parkhead, while Rangers and Hamilton open things up on Friday.

Friday 29 September

52/10 Hamilton | Draw 33/10 | Rangers 9/20 (20:45)

Hamilton were unlucky not to come away with at least a point as two second half goals from St. Johnstone made sure that the Steelmen returned home with all three points. The home side took the lead through a beautiful strike from Greg Docherty but were pegged back and then overtaken in the second stanza. Despite the loss, Martin Canning will take heart from the performance as they look forward to a tough clash against Rangers. Rangers were sunk by Celtic at the weekend as second half goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths secured bragging rights for the Hoops. To be honest, Celtic dominated from the start of the match with Rangers only managing a single shot on target the whole game. A better performance this week should see the away side claim the points, get on at 9/20.

Saturday 30 September

11/10 Motherwell | 23/10 | Partick Thistle 47/20 (16:00)

Motherwell were sunk by Aberdeen at the weekend, despite having dominated the match. The only goal of the match was scored by Andrew Considine after bundling the ball over the line following a goalmouth scramble. They’re at home again this weekend and will looking to leapfrog Rangers and Hibernian into fourth should results go their way. Partick Thistle were a hair’s breadth away from a home win against Hearts after Blair Spittal’s amazing run and subsequent strike put the Jags in front. Spittal nearly made it 2-0 after a tasty little nutmeg afforded him a shooting opportunity which he blazed over the bar. Ross Callachan levelled late on against the run of play as his header was judged to have crossed the line – a decent result for both sides in the end. Motherwell were excellent against Aberdeen and probably should have won but for some wasteful finishing. Back them to put that right this week with a home win over Partick Thistle.

11/20 Aberdeen | 29/10 | St. Johnstone 9/2 (16:00)

The Dons were lucky to escape Motherwell with all three points last week. Andrew Considine grabbed the only goal of a game that Motherwell dominated from start to finish. The battling performance and result, however, proves that Derek McInnes’ men are ready to challenge Celtic this season. The Saints also made life difficult for themselves at the weekend, having to come from a goal down to beat Hamilton 2-1 at McDiarmid Park. Steve MacLean brought St. Johnstone level before a towering Murray Davidson header ensured Tommy Wright’s men went home with the points, consolidating their grip on third place. A difficult one to call here with both sides looking pretty good at the minute. I do think the Dons will edge it at home, however. Aberdeen to win at 11/20.

2/9 Celtic | 5/1 | Hibernian 9/1 (16:00)

Celtic were far too good for Rangers at the weekend, running out comfortable 2-0 winners at the home of the old enemy. Second half strikes from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths underlined the dominance that the Bhoys exert on the league week after week. Hibernian were completely and utterly dominant as they beat Ross County 1-0 at the weekend. They created chance after chance, with Paul Hanlon the only one to find the back of the net. You can be dead sure that Hibs won’t enjoy any kind of dominance at Parkhead this weekend. Take Celtic on the (-1) Handicap at 13/20, one to add to all weekend multiples.

16/10 Kilmarnock | 9/4 | Ross County 16/10 (16:00)

Kilmarnock were involved in a feisty old encounter at Rugby Park against Dundee at the weekend. Faissal El Bakhtaoui opened the scoring for Hearts after Jamie MacDonald could only parry an earlier shot. Killie would level, deservedly so, as Gordon Greer steered the ball into the back of the net after a corner. Despite the draw, Killie still find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table without a win this season – something they’ll be desperate to change this weekend. Ross County were lucky to escape their tie against Hibernian with a 1-0 defeat. The visitors had the better chances by far and probably should have won by three of four at the very least. They’ve now lost seven and drawn one of their last eight in all competition in what looks like it could be a very long season. I can’t separate these sides, neither has been particularly good this term with County bottom and Killie third from bottom. A draw looks likely and offers good value at 9/4.

24/10 Dundee | 47/20 | Hearts 21/20 (16:00)

We round off the weekend action as Hearts make a trip to face Dundee. Saturday’s hosts would have been disappointed not to have come away with more than a draw against the bottom club. They’ll have it all to do this weekend as they welcome much stronger opposition to Dens Park. Hearts were made to work pretty hard for their draw against Partick Thistle at the weekend with a late Ross Callachan header controversially awarded after it looked as though the ball was cleared off the line by a defender. They also had a late penalty appeal denied. In the end, a draw was probably a fair result. Hearts should prove too strong for this weekend’s opposition and are tipped to get back to winning ways at 21/20.

TREBLE @ 4/1
Aberdeen Win 11/20
Celtic (-1) Handicap 13/20
Motherwell Win 11/10

Written by Jason Dewey