Ladbrokes Premiership: The Half-Term Awards
James McArthur may have snatched the headlines with Scotland’s dramatic equaliser against Lithuania on Saturday, but with the international break now coming to a close, it’s time to extend the praise to the Ladbrokes Premiership’s finest.
From the league’s top talent to emerging stars and unforgettable games, here’s Ladbrokes News’ look back at the opening eight games.
The star performer:
Scott Sinclair (Celtic)
There’s little doubt that Brendan Rodgers secured the signing of the summer when he persuaded the former Chelsea prodigy to swap the Championship for Celtic – and the results have been devastating.
The 27-year-old smashed Jimmy McGrory’s historic goalscoring record by netting in his first six games for the club, and notching up a pair of neat assists in the process. Few have achieved hero status at Parkhead so quickly.
One to watch:
Callum Paterson (Heart of Midlothian)
The 21-year-old made his home debut for Scotland in the draw with Lithuania, adding another impressive feat to the CV of a hugely talented young player with a wealth of experience which belies his young age.
His absolute screamer in the 3-1 victory at Fir Park last month might be enough to win this award alone, but a slew of tidy and creative displays – punctuated with vital goals – make Paterson our one to watch. Will continue to go from strength to strength.
Tipped for the title:
Yep, no surprises here. The Hoops have taken 19 points from six games, scoring 24 goals in the process. So far they’ve thumped Rangers 5-1, put four past Aberdeen and eked out a victory at Dens Park less than 72 hours after an exhausting 3-3 draw with Manchester City.
Four points ahead of nearest challengers Aberdeen, with a game in hand, it’s unlikely any side boasting the likes of Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths will give anyone else a realistic shot at top spot.
Admittedly, Saints headed into this season on the back of five successive top-six finishes. But once again, Tommy Wright’s men have belied their modest budget to establish themselves in the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership table, and currently sit in fourth place between Hearts and Rangers.
The Perth outfit have continued their excellent defensive record this year, conceding just once in their last four league outings. Never bet against them upsetting the odds.
It’s never a nice award to dish out, but after last season’s respectable 46-point haul, things are looking decidedly less comfortable for the Jags this time out. Indeed, they’ve taken just two points from six games following an opening-day win.
Shipping careless goals at home has been one issue, though Thistle’s misfiring forwards must also bear the brunt of some criticism. Strikers Adebayo Azeez, Mathias Pogba and Kris Doolan have all failed to find the net in the league, despite a combined 15 outings.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-3 Ross County
Liam Boyce was the Staggies’ Highland hero at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium back in August, scoring all three goals for the visitors in a match filled with outstanding attacking football.
Ross Draper scored arguably the goal of the game for the visitors, with a nonchalant flick to bring the deficit back to 3-2, but County held firm as the visitors returned to Dingwall with all three points, and Boyce clutching the match ball.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing