St Johnstone head to Ross County this weekend as odds-against shots for victory on the road. But all the signs point towards a win for Tommy Wright’s men, who could go level on points with fourth-placed Heart of Midlothian.
Here’s why the Ladbrokes News team are backing the Saints to do the damage at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday.
They tend to dominate in Dingwall
The Perth outfit are looking for a fourth victory in as many visits to the Global Energy Arena, with Wright’s charges having won to nil on both of their trips here last season.
And the men who made the difference in attack here last season are all still available for the visitors. Chris Kane, Steven MacLean and Danny Swanson, the three men who netted in Dingwall have all been key figures this term – and could well do the damage again this weekend.
Having netted in three of his last eight games, we reckon the best value could be on Swanson scoring anytime at 9/5.
Saints defence beginning to click
Yes, they may have shipped five goals to Celtic last time out, but besides a difficult afternoon against the Ladbrokes Premiership’s unstoppable force, they’ve been very good at the back – especially of late. Indeed, they now boast the best defensive record outside of the top three.
Having now chalked up three clean sheets in their last five away games, they’re also the only visitors bar Celtic to produce a shutout at Pittodrie since early August. And with the out-of-form Staggies up against a consistent and solid backline, the 10/3 for the visitors to win to nil should prove popular.
Fragile County backline can be exploited
On the flipside, Jim McIntyre’s men have been anything but reliable at the back this season. They’ve managed a solitary clean sheet in their last 19 games in all competitions, and conceded three or more goals on five of those occasions.
While St Johnstone have generally been viewed as a functional – rather than high-scoring – side, they’ve actually scored more goals than anyone outside the top five, and only one fewer than third-placed Rangers.
Having scored three goals against Hamilton Academical at the end of January, and two against Celtic earlier this month – making them the first side to net more than once against the Hoops in 13 games –, the 22/1 for a 3-0 Saints win is well worth a flutter.
In the match betting, St Johnstone are narrow favourites at 7/5, with Ross County 9/5 for the win, and the draw priced up at 23/10.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing