The stakes are huge in the Highlands on Friday night, as Ross County host local rivals Inverness Caledonian Thistle in a game with far more than just local pride at stake.
The Staggies are just three points above the relegation play-off spot, whilst the Caley Jags are five adrift at the bottom of the table.
And the Ladbrokes News team reckon it’s the hosts who are set to take the points in Dingwall. Here’s why – and how – we think you should back Jim McIntyre’s men.
High scoring affair on the cards
While this is likely to be a nerve-shredding affair for fans of the respective Highlands clubs, it’s always an exciting affair for the neutral. The last three meetings have produced a combined 12 goals, with County winning 3-2 in successive games.
In fact, nine of the last 11 meetings between this pair have seen both teams find the net, including all of the three prior clashes this season.
At present, the Staggies are currently in far better form, with nine points from their last seven games, compared to Caley Thistle’s three. And while we think they’ll come out on top again here, there’s every chance we’ll see the visitors make it interesting with a goal or two.
Top Bet: Ross County to win and BTTS @ 5/2
Lethal Liam loves this fixture
Inverness fans must be sick of the sight of Staggies striker Liam Boyce. The Northern Irishman has netted five times in the last three meetings between this pair. And while that’s a pretty spectacular record, it isn’t out of character. After all, he’s netted 16 times in 30 Ladbrokes Premiership games this season.
And the 26-year-old loves a late goal. He’s closed out the scoring in six games during this campaign, including two of County’s last three games. Combined with his record in this fixture, there’s every chance he’ll be the final name on the scoresheet on Friday night.
Top Bet: Last Goalscorer – Liam Boyce @ 4/1
Hosts have a habit of netting early
While Boyce has left it late to find the net on a number of occasions this season, County have done much of their best work in this difficult campaign in the opening half-hour of games – leading at the 30-minute mark on nine different occasions.
For Inverness’ part, they’ve conceded four times in the opening half-hour of their previous four games, including two Motherwell goals in the first nine minutes of last weekend’s 4-2 defeat.
So we think that Mcintyre’s charges will take a lead in the first third of this game, and carry on to take all three points.
Top Bet: Result After 30 Mins – Ross County @ 12/5
In the match betting, Ross County are 10/11 favourites for victory, with Inverness CT 14/5 to win, and 13/5 on offer for the draw.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing