The Ladbrokes SPFL returned with a bang on the opening weekend, with late drama, impressive comebacks and more than a couple of high-scoring routs.
That made it hard for the Ladbrokes News team to narrow this week’s action down to five talking points. But we did it – just for you!
Griffiths’ goalscoring knack still 100% intact
While Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair grabbed Celtic’s goalscoring headlines in 2016-17, the former’s injury layoff means Leigh Griffiths – who started just 15 league games last term – has stepped back into the role as the Hoops’ main attacking focus.
Despite being somewhat overshadowed by other key men last term, the 26-year-old showed his goalscoring instincts haven’t dulled one bit in Saturday’s 4-1 rout of Heart of Midlothian. The Scotland international produced a neat opener before heading home clinically after the break to make it 3-0. Underestimate him at your peril.
Wasteful Killie must develop ruthless streak
Lee McCulloch’s men dominated swathes of their opening day meeting against St Johnstone, having more shots on and off target, as well as more possession. But once again the Rugby Park club came away empty-handed.
One bright spark is that they did manage a goal with the new strike duo of Lee Erwin and Kris Boyd on the pitch together, but against functional and ruthless opposition like the Saints, Killie need to start taking their chances.
Buddies revival spells genuine title challenge
Last season’s amazing turnaround saw seemingly relegation-doomed St Mirren chalk up 25 points from their final 13 Championship games, having managed just 11 in their previous 23 outings. The debate in the close season has been whether the Buddies are just enjoying a purple patch, or real title contenders this time out.
However, there’s little doubt those at the Paisley 2021 Stadium were watching real title challengers on Saturday, as Jack Ross’ side dismantled Falkirk with a swashbuckling 3-1 victory.
With new signing Gavin Reilly among the goals on his league debut, there’s every chance our title tip are heading for a memorable campaign.
Ayr could be League 1’s next Dunfermline
Back in the long ago days of the 2015-16 season, Dunfermline Athletic wrapped up the League 1 title in spectacular fashion, recording 79 points and notching up a whopping 83 goals. And there’s evidence to suggest Ayr could do the same this term.
Having won all four of their League Cup games, notching up 15 goals in the process, they began the season with a 5-1 demolition of Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill, with Gary Bollan’s men the first visitors to net five goals at Rovers’ home in the past 100 games. It’s very early days, but the Honest Men are already signalling that they could run away with this league.
Citizens slow out of the blocks again
The League 2 campaign is a marathon, not a sprint – and that’s good news for fans of Edinburgh City. Having seen their side take just four points from 11 league games at the start of last season, Citizens fans will have feared the worst, though their side pulled things around to eventually finish in seventh spot.
However, any hopes of a higher finish this term rest on getting a better start. Outpassed, outclassed and out of the game for virtually all of the second half, the manner of Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Montrose shows City risk facing the spectre of relegation once again unless they quickly improve.
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