Scottish Premiership Preview

Scottish Premiership
Celtic and Aberdeen are tied at the top of the SPL with Rodgers' side above on goal difference.
Following the unity and subsequent heartbreak felt by the Scottish public following the national side’s doomed World Cup qualification campaign, the SPL returns to divide the nation once more.

We open things up on Friday the 13th as Rangers make the short trip to St. Johnstone. The balance of the round’s fixtures will be played on Saturday with the pick of the day’s action seeing Celtic host Dundee while Hibernian and Aberdeen go toe to toe at Easter Road.

Friday 13 October

9/2 St. Johnstone | Draw 3/1 | Rangers 11/20 (20:45)

St. Johnstone – who sit level on points with their Friday opposition – will be keen to open up a bit of a gap between themselves and Rangers with a win. They’ll be confident of doing just that too with Tommy Wright’s men enjoying a solid start to the season. The international break would have come at a decent time for the Saints following their 3-0 humbling away at Aberdeen. With most of the squad due back at training soon, they’ll have almost a full week to prepare for the clash and I expect them to give Rangers a proper game. Rangers have been wildly inconsistent at the start of this campaign and find themselves well off the pace, six points behind Celtic and Aberdeen who lead the pack at the moment. They did get back to winning ways last time out, sweeping Hamilton aside with a crushing 4-1 away victory. St. Johnstone have actually been very good this season. I can see them taking points off of Gers here, take the home side on the Win/Draw at 13/10.

Saturday 14 October

1/10 Celtic | 15/2 | Dundee 18/1 (16:00)

Celtic suffered a rare wobble just before the international break as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Parkhead by a spirited Hibernian side. There should be no such slip-ups this time around as they welcome eighth-placed Dundee to Celtic Park. It’s also worth mentioning that Celtic are in Champions League action away at Bayern Munich in midweek so we could see a slightly weakened side take to the pitch on Saturday afternoon. Dundee have been on a fine run of form, going undefeated in their last three league games. This run included excellent home wins over St. Johnstone and Hearts as well as a credible away draw at Kilmarnock. Their last defeat, however, did come in the cup against Saturday’s opposition as they were thrashed 4-0. The gulf in class should prove too much for Dee, with Celtic likely to run out comfortable victors. Get on the (-1) Handicap at 3/10.

2/1 Ross County | 9/4 | Hearts 13/10 (16:00)

Ross County have endured an inconsistent start to the season, battling to string together any sort of run. As a result, they find themselves third-bottom on the standings on seven points after eight games. They did grab an excellent 2-0 win away at Kilmarnock prior to the international break, however, the timing of the break will make it difficult for them to take any momentum into this weekend’s clash. Hearts will have enjoyed the timing of the international break having endured a couple of poor results that saw them drop points against the likes of Dundee and Partick Thistle. Both sides have struggled for goals this season, scoring just seven apiece. Back the Under 2.5 Goals market at 17/20 here.

21/20 Partick Thistle | 23/10 | Kilmarnock 5/2 (16:00)

This should prove to be a very interesting fixture with both sides well off the pace. With both teams on three points and a -8 goal difference, Thistle find themselves above their visitors by virtue of the fact that they’ve scored more goals. That said, neither side has been able to pick up a win this season. These sort of games are unpredictable at best and should be avoided if at all possible. However, if you absolutely must have a strike, get on the draw at 23/10.

18/10 Hamilton | 9/4 | Motherwell 14/10 (16:00)

Hamilton have endured a bit of a nightmare run and would have welcomed the international break with open arms. Four losses on the trot in the league against Celtic, Hearts, St. Johnstone and Rangers have seen the Accies slip down to ninth on the table. They’ll do well to get anything out of Saturday’s tie. The Steelmen have been on a fine run of late, winning four of their last six league matches. It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Steve Robinson can get the most out of a team whose momentum will be affected by the timing of the break. That said, I do still believe that Motherwell should be too good for Hamilton and should be backed at 14/10.

31/20 Hibernian | 22/10 | Aberdeen 33/20 (16:00)

Hibernian will be buzzing coming into this match having not tasted defeat since mid-August when they were turned over by Hamilton 3-1 at Easter Road. Since then, however, they’ve enjoyed a run of six consecutive games in all competitions without tasting defeat, including a magnificent 2-2 draw at Parkhead before the break. They’ll have it all to do, however, against Aberdeen who are aiming to end Celtic’s domestic dominance. They’re undefeated in the league this season, winning six and drawing two. They’ll look to lay down a marker at the weekend with their clash against Celtic next weekend looming large – dropping points here coupled with a loss against the Bhoys next week could prove disastrous. Back the away side to come away with the points here and keep the pressure on Celtic at the top of the table.

TREBLE @ 6/1
St. Johnstone Win/Draw 13/10
Celtic (-1) Handicap 3/10
Aberdeen Win 33/20

Written by Jason Dewey