5 things we learned from Ladbrokes Premiership (10-11 September)
We’re five weeks into the 2016-17 Ladbrokes Premiership season and the league table is really beginning to take shape. Brendan Rodgers managed to maintain his 100 per cent record with a resounding win over Rangers, while Hearts continued their fine run of form with a 3-1 win over Hamilton Academical.
Once again, Ladbrokes News have taken a look at the weekend’s major talking points from the top tier of Scottish football…
Brendan Rodgers can’t do anything wrong
That surprising night in Gibraltar in the early Champions League qualification stages almost seems a distant memory now.
Skip forward exactly two months and we’re looking at a completely different Celtic side, now safely into the group stages of the biggest club competition in world football and top of their domestic league with maximum points picked up from their opening four games.
The 5-1 hammering of local rivals Rangers on Saturday afternoon was the biggest winning margin in this fixture for 16 years – meaning the new boss has already won over every Bhoys fan across the globe.
Jags’ troubles continue
Defeat at home to St. Johnstone on Saturday ensured Partick Thistle remained in the relegation zone for yet another week.
And if you remove their opening day victory against Inverness Caledonian Thistle from the equation, that’s now four successive games in all competitions that Alan Archibald’s men have lost.
On top of that, they haven’t been ahead in a match for six hours, scoring just three goals in that time.
It could be a long season ahead for the club Glaswegian side, and next week’s clash with fellow relegation favourites Kilmarnock could be pivotal – even at this stage of the season.
Richie Foran will be delighted with a point
It’s been a tough campaign so far for Inverness, conceding 10 goals in their first three league games. But a 2-1 win against St Johnstone before the international break meant Richie Foran’s men finally had some points to speak of this season.
And the return of the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday saw Caley rescue a point seemingly from nowhere against an Aberdeen side who boasted 60 per cent of possession during the game.
Iain Vigurs’ sensational strike in the 68th minute of the match was Inverness’ only attempt on goal of the day, but Foran certainly won’t mind that as his side were fancied by many to taste defeat for the fourth time this season.
Next week Inverness welcome league leaders Celtic to Caledonian Stadium, where home fans will be hoping their side’s unbeaten run can stretch to three games.
Scoring Boyce is Staggies’ lucky omen
Liam Boyce’s sixth goal of the season came at the weekend in a 1-1 draw with Motherwell, and once again the 25-year-old’s goal has ensured his side earned at least a point.
In the two games where Boyce has failed to score for the Dingwall outfit this year, they’ve lost, while they’ve picked up an impressive seven points from the three games in which the Northern Ireland international has found the net.
He’s currently 6/1 for the Golden Boot, and is two goals ahead of his nearest challenger, Scott Sinclair.
Hearts continue to quietly go about their business
They were certainly unlucky to lose to Celtic on the opening weekend of the campaign, but Robbie Neilson’s men haven’t let that affect their performances over the last few weeks.
And a come-from-behind win at the weekend against Hamilton meant Hearts crept into second place following Rangers’ defeat to Celtic earlier on in the afternoon.
They comfortably managed a third-place finish last season behind Celtic and Aberdeen, but there might well be some value in the ‘Betting Without the Old Firm’ market, where the Jam Tarts are 11/10 to be the first team behind the Bhoys and Rangers come May.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.