5 things we learned from the Ladbrokes Premiership (13-14 August)
There were some happy coachloads of fans heading home across Scotland after a weekend which saw four away wins from the five Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures.
With St Johnstone and Kilmarnock both coming from behind to win in the last 20 minutes, this was also a weekend of (fairly) late drama. And Ladbrokes News’ continuing series kicks off with the Saints.
Low-scoring Saints of old are gone
Having failed to reach the 50-goal mark in the Scottish top-flight between 2010 and 2015, fans could have been forgiven for thinking that last season’s bumper haul of 58 strikes was a one-off, but their early season form suggests the Sainties’ strike-force will shine this year.
14 goals in their five League Cup games have now been followed a magnificent double in the 2-1 comeback win at Motherwell on Saturday.
Danny Swanson’s superb individual goal and Steven MacLean’s intelligent header showed there’s plenty of firepower at the Perth outfit, and they look well worth backing at 17/4 for a second successive win over Celtic.
Aberdeen’s superb defence not matched up front
The boys from the Granite City have been fittingly tough to break down so far, with Heart of Midlothian failing to carve out a shot on target in Saturday’s goalless draw at Pittodrie, but Dons boss Derek McInnes will surely be concerned by his own side’s lack of goals.
Aberdeen have drawn both of their Ladbrokes Premiership games 0-0, recording just three shots on target in Saturday’s gritty but uninspired clash with the Jam Tarts.
With the attacking quality of Jayden Stockley, Adam Rooney, Niall McGinn and Miles Storey all at McInnes’ disposal, one suspects a formation change could quickly see an upturn in form for the Reds.
Fighting spirit alive and well for Kilmarnock
Having managed beleaguered Blackpool before his arrival at Rugby Park, there’s little doubt that Lee Clark is a man who relishes a challenge – and the inspirational gaffer helped turn what looked like a second league defeat in as many games into victory at Hamilton Academical.
The visitors kept the deficit to one goal despite Accies dominating possession and chances for much of the game. And their second goal in particular – a stunning strike from Souleymane Coulibaly – appears to have produced a new fan favourite.
Sensational goal from Coulibaly, should never have started on the bench
— KillieFC (@KillieFC) August 13, 2016
What Celtic can do, Rangers can match
The Old Firm have historically been renowned for their ability to grind results out on the road. So when Celtic managed to sneak past Hearts last weekend, the impetus was on their newly-promoted rivals to do the same at Dens Park.
Mark Warburton’s men passed the test with flying colours, with their front three of Kenny Miller, Harry Forrester and Andy Halliday possessing a blend of pace and experience which Dundee found too hot to handle – with Rangers notching up a 2-1 victory, though they could have won by more.
As for Miller, we’re predicting he’ll finally retire some time around 2046.
— Scottish Sun Sport (@scotsunsport) August 13, 2016
Boyce wasn’t Caley’s only Highland hero
While Inverness hitman Liam Boyce wrote his name into Caley Jags’ folklore with a hat-trick away at Highland rivals Ross County, the contribution of midfield maestro Martin Woods was just as important.
The former Shrewsbury Town man produced two brilliant balls for Boyce to nod home with ease, as well as breaking up several promising attacks from the Staggies.
With an intuitive understanding developing between the pair, the 10/1 for the hat-trick hero to finish as Ladbrokes Premiership top scorer could prove excellent value indeed.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing