Ladbrokes Premiership: Rested Juanma will be hungry for more
There’s a full card of Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures to enjoy this Saturday with a traditional feel given the fact that all matches will kick-off at 15:00.
Champions Celtic have ground to make up on newly-promoted Hearts but the Edinburgh club aren’t about to surrender top spot lightly.
Here’s our preview of the weekend’s action.
Celtic v Inverness
Celtic Park has been a place of nightmares for Inverness in recent times. Their last four visits to the Glasgow ground have resulted in four defeats, with no goals scored and an eye-watering 17 conceded.
Caley have now played five competitive games this season and have only a single goal to their name. Though the defence is very tight, their lack of goals is a real worry.
Celtic dropped their first points of the season in midweek but other than that minor slip-up, they have started the defence of their title strongly, scoring six goals in three matches and remaining unbeaten.
There should only be one winner in this fixture and the chances of the away side troubling the scorers seem slim at best.
Best Bet: Celtic to win to nil – 8/11
Dundee v St Johnstone
It has been an entertaining start to the season if you are a Dundee supporter. The Dees opened with a 4-0 away triumph at Killie, lost an entertaining clash with Hearts and then came back from the dead with a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with city rivals United.
It’s been seven years and seven attempts since they last beat the visitors from Perth at Dens Park and Paul Hartley’s charges may have to wait a little longer here.
St Johnstone have made a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season. A rollercoaster 4-3 defeat in the capital against Hearts has been followed up by two 1-1 draws and they will be desperate for their first win against their local rivals.
This should be a very tight affair but if there is to be a winner, I fancy it might be the away side who will be travelling home with the three points.
Best Bet: St Johnstone draw no bet – 5/4
Hamilton v Dundee United
Hamilton’s fortunes have taken a markable nosedive since Alex Neil left for Premier League Norwich. Since his January departure the Accies have incredibly won just three times.
They’ve started this season in similar fashion, picking up a solitary point from two matches, and have yet to score a goal.
Visitors United have been dogged by silly errors, they should really have more than the four points to their name thus far. This was highlighted in midweek, letting a comfortable two-goal lead slip against their city neighbours in the final five minutes.
Despite these misgivings, this is a fixture which the away team should relish. The Terrors have won five and drawn two of the last seven meetings.
There should be goals aplenty here, and the visitors should get the lion’s share of them.
Motherwell v Aberdeen
Motherwell are looking to avoid an unwanted hat-trick, having lost their last two matches against Dundee United and Hearts.
Ian Baraclough has yet to prove himself to the Fir Park faithful, and the loss of playmaker Stephen Pearson to a long term injury is a major concern.
In three outings to date, the home side have conceded four goals and scored only one.
Aberdeen remain the best placed team to challenge Celtic for the title. They have made improvements on their successful squad from last term and can expect to push on again.
Derek McInness’ men are well rested after having their midweek match postponed due to their early-season European commitments.
The Dons won all three meetings between the sides last season, and they’re well placed to claim another three points and maintain their 100% record here.
Best Bet: Aberdeen win – 4/5
Partick v Kilmarnock
It doesn’t take a genius to work out where Partick Thistle’s problems lie. The Jags start their fourth Premiership match without a goal to their name.
The men from Maryhill’s quest for goals will be further hampered after recent signing, striker Mathias Pogba, was injured in the goalless draw at Inverness.
Killie haven’t tasted defeat at Firhill for over a decade, with three of the last four matches ending in a stalemate.
Gary Locke’s visitors showed a lot of character, coming from behind to draw with Celtic in front of their own fans on Wednesday night. Other than that it has been a pretty woeful start to the season, losing 2-0 and 4-0 respectively.
These two sides look like they will be facing a long season and a potential relegation battle.
When the sides have combined for a measly two goals in 540 minutes of action, all things point to this being a low scoring affair.
Best Bet: Under 1.5 goals – 21/10
Ross County v Hearts
Ross County seem to be adapting to the teachings of new manager Jim McIntyre. The Highlanders impressed despite losing to Celtic on the opening day, and have continued to progress since, picking up four points out of six.
Hearts are sitting pretty atop the table, making the transition from the Championship look absolutely seamless. The Gorgie Boys have won three straight and found the net on eight separate occasions.
The outcome of the match looks too close to call, with nothing splitting the two sides in the betting.
There have been three draws in the last seven meetings between the pair, and this may well be the fourth.
The Jambos had the luxury of resting the impressive new signing Juanma in the midweek win over Motherwell. The Spaniard will be itching to get back in the starting line-up and looks backable to hit the net in Dingwall.
Best Bet: Juanma anytime scorer – 19/10
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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