Hamilton relegation far from academic in Scottish Premiership

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The 11/5 favourites to finish bottom of the Scottish Premiership this season, it would be dangerous to write-off Hamilton Academical’s chances just yet given how poorly those teams in the bottom half of the division fared last season.

Just five points separated second-bottom Hibernian from 7th place Ross County, with the Cabbage going into a playoff with Hamilton still quietly confident of retaining their place in the Scottish top-flight.

That confidence appeared to be warranted too after winning the first-leg of their all-or-nothing encounter with the Accies by a comfortable 2-0 scoreline.

But Hamilton fought back, with an early Jason Scotland goal lighting the touchpaper for a sensational comeback sealed in injury time, with Alex Neil’s side eventually succeeding on penalties in a surprise victory that could set the tone for the season to come.

Scotland remains on the books at Hamilton and while other names may have come and gone, the presence of a proven goalscorer could prove important to Accies’ chances with the veteran forward racking up eight goals in just 15 games for the Scottish club last term.

Instead fans of Kilmarnock may be growing increasingly concerned following a season that proved even the big boys of Scottish football are not invincible with Hearts and Hibs down and Killie just four points off the drop themselves.

Available at a tempting 5/1 to finish bottom themselves, with the financially unstable Hearts now gone, anyone of five could be in line for the drop.

But Killie could be the prime pick following the departure of Kris Boyd, a striker whose goals effectively kept the club in the division.

All told the 30-year-old scored 30 goals for the Scottish outfit last term, with 18 of these strikes coming in games Kilmarnock either drew or went on to win.

His departure for Glasgow Rangers is a blow to Killie’s season already and one they may not recover from, with few players at this level able to replicate that kind of campaign-saving form.

Elsewhere Partick Thistle remain in contention for bottom spot having stayed just three points off relegation last term but with the loss of Boyd and the arrival of Scotland in the top-flight, don’t be surprised to see Hamilton sitting above Kilmarnock in the final standings.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.