Scottish Premiership Preview

Scottish Premiership
There's great value on offer in the Scottish Premiership this weekend. Check our tips in week 17.
There were a couple of surprise results last weekend which saw Kilmarnock and Dundee both triumph away from home against St. Johnstone and Ross County respectively. 

Rangers also beat Aberdeen for the second time in a week as they climb to second on the table, six points behind Celtic. We’ve got two more weeks until the winter break as the race to finish in the top half of the table after the first phase of the league reaches its climax – let’s look ahead to this weekend’s clashes.

Friday 8 December

33/10 Dundee | Draw 26/10 | Aberdeen 15/20 (21:45)

Dundee have rocketed off the bottom of the league with two wins and a draw in their last three matches, including a 2-0 win over Rangers a few weeks ago. They were splendid once again last weekend as Mark O’Hara’s long-range drive and Farissal El Bakhtaoui’s deft chip secured the win which moves Dee into ninth place. They come up against quality opposition this weekend, though so you can rest assured that Neil McCann will look to be solid and play on the counter. Aberdeen’s title challenge faded away last week as Rangers beat them twice in the space of six days. The twin defeats saw the Dons drop down into third place behind Rangers on goal difference. Indeed, if they are to claim the points this weekend, they’ll need to break a run of form which has seen them claim just one win in their last five league outings. Aberdeen are tipped to get back to winning ways here.

Saturday 9 December

21/20 Hearts | 47/20 | Motherwell 24/10 (17:00)

If you look at the form table for the last five matches, you’ll see Hearts propping up the table. Two defeats and three draws isn’t good for a team who should be aiming to finish in the top half of the table at the very least. Their 1-1 draw at the weekend against Hamilton won’t be remembered for football so much as the incidents which took place on the touchlines. Both Craig Levein and his assistant, Austin MacPhee were sent to the stands in separate incidents as the Jambos season goes from bad to worse. The Steelmen were absolutely walloped at Parkhead this past weekend as Celtic ran out 5-1 winners in arguably the most one-sided affair that the league has seen this season. You can’t really blame Motherwell too much either, there isn’t much that teams in the division can do to stop the Bhoys when they’re in that sort of mood. Hearts have drawn their last three matches, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this end in a stalemate. Play it safe though and take Under 2.5 Goals at 8/10.

33/20 Hamilton | 22/10 | St. Johnstone 31/20 (17:00)

Hamilton are one of the division’s form sides at the moment and will look to leapfrog Sunday’s opposition into seventh place. In fact, claiming all three points at the weekend could see them move into the top half of the table with just one round remaining before the winter break. They’ve not lost in six league encounters and will be confident of coming away with at least a point against the Saints. St. Johnstone went down 2-1 at the weekend against relegation-threatened Kilmarnock. The Saints’ early season form has pretty much abandoned them and their slide down the table has left them languishing in seventh place with just four points from a possible 15 of late. Hamilton have been buzzing of late and should be able to claim the points here.

7/20 Rangers | 37/10 | Ross County 6/1 (17:00)

Rangers will be buzzing after back-to-back wins against Aberdeen saw them move up into second place at the expense of the Dons. Those two wins could prove to be the catalyst for Rangers who will now look launch a title push in the second half of the season. Ross County were soundly beaten by Dundee United at Dens Park last weekend as their relegation fears deepen. Things won’t be any easier this weekend when they make the trip to a rejuvenated Rangers side. Back the home side on the (-1) Handicap here at 19/20.

13/10 Kilmarnock | 43/20 | Partick Thistle 2/1 (17:00)

We’re off to East Ayrshire next where Kilmarnock play host to Partick Thistle in a relegation six-pointer. Killie managed to claim three points last time out against St. Johnstone as they climbed to 10th on the standings. Another win this weekend will see them open up a seven-point gap on Thistle who are rooted to the bottom of the log. Things rarely go your way when you’re at the bottom of the standings as Thistle found out last week. They put in a solid shift against high-flying Hibernian at the weekend but were ultimately done by an Adam Barton own goal in a 1-0 defeat. Killie really should have the measure of Thistle in this fixture. Home win represents great value at 13/10.

Sunday 10 December

5/1 Hibernian | 33/10 | Celtic 9/20 (14:30)

The last fixture for the weekend will see Hibernian go head to head with Celtic in what could be a defining fixture in the race for title. Hibs have been in scintillating form of late and will want nothing more than to inflict on Celtic their first league defeat of the season and blow the title race wide open. That will be easier said than done, however, as the Bhoys come into this match in great touch. True, they’ll have to face Anderlecht in a midweek Champions League match but should be fresh enough on Sunday afternoon. They absolutely trounced St. Johnstone last week after suffering a surprise 1-1 draw against Motherwell. Tricky one to call this. While I genuinely believe that Hibs can take points off of Celtic here, I’m too nervous to tip such a result though. Instead, get on the Over 2.5 Goals market at 6/10 – this game has goals written all over it.

TREBLE @ 7/1
Hamilton Win 33/20
Hibernian vs Celtic Over 2.5 Goals 6/10
Rangers (-1) Handicap 19/20

Written by Jason Dewey