As football fans across the land place their presents under the Christmas tree, they’ll be hoping for an early gift of three points, with 26 sides in action on December 24.
But while we’re hoping for a footballing feast of Christmas crackers, the Ladbrokes News team have put our heads together to pick out the plum tie from each division, starting with a crucial clash at Ibrox…
Rangers v Inverness Caledonian Thistle (Premiership, 12:30)
There are huge implications at both ends of the table in this one, with the Gers keen to increase the distance between themselves and Aberdeen in the race for second place, while the relegation-threatened Caley Jags are in need of a win, following seven games without victory.
By contrast, Mark Warburton’s men have won five of their last six, including victories over Aberdeen and Heart of Midlothian. Inverness did win 3-0 at Ibrox back in 2012, so another good result isn’t out of the question, but the hosts should prove too strong this time around.
Best Bet: Half-Time/Full-Time: Rangers/Rangers @ 6/5
Dundee United v St Mirren (Championship, 12:30)
It looked unlikely we’d see any Christmas cheer at St Mirren Park in 2016, following a haul of just four points from 14 Ladbrokes Championship games. But after seven points from their most recent trio of fixtures, the race to save their season is well and truly on.
However, they have their work cut out to break down a Tangerines side who haven’t conceded in their last six games. That means this could be a tight and gripping affair – and with United level on points with Hibernian at the top, Saturday’s game could have a huge impact at both ends of the table.
Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals @ 8/13
Alloa Athletic v Brechin City (League 1, 13:00)
Outwith Livingston’s sensational stats, this cracker pits Ladbrokes League 1’s top scorers (Alloa) against its joint-best defence (Brechin). An enticing proposition in and of itself, but with the added aspect of both sides jostling for the play-off spots, this tie has everything to keep fans captivated.
There’s also the added sub-plot that the away side has won this fixture on the last six occasions. That should give confidence to City, especially after their impressive victory over Stranraer last weekend.
Best Bet: Brechin to win @ 17/4
Cowdenbeath v Arbroath (League 2, 13:00)
Another game with a fascinating plotline sees Cowdenbeath – battling against a third successive relegation – hosting an Arbroath side in second place. Sounds like a win for the 6/5 visitors, right? Well, it might not be quite so simple.
That’s because the Blue Brazil have taken eight points from their last four meetings against the Red Lichties, with the hosts winning 2-0 and 4-2 respectively at Gayfield last season.
With this one tough to call, it should be a close and gripping encounter. However, Cowden’s price of 21/10 for victory means our money is on the hosts if push comes to shove.
Best Bet: Cowdenbeath to win @ 21/10
Get all the latest Ladbrokes SPFL odds here this Christmas.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing