AUGUST 7: SPL BETTING

Aberdeen v Celtic, SPL, Sunday, 12.15pm

Motherwell v Hearts, SPL, Sunday 3pm

CELTIC loved playing Aberdeen last season – and they could enjoy it again on Sunday.

Neil Lennon’s side banged in 21 goals in five meetings including a record 9-0 bashing at Parkhead.

They won’t be hitting nine at Pittodrie but I can’t see anything but an away win.

The Dons have failed to net in their openers against St Johnstone and St Mirren and lack a goal threat having lost Chris Maguire.

Celtic started the season with a confident win at Hibs before reverting to friendlies but should be well prepared for the test in the north-east.

You won’t get rich backing Celtic at a biggest 4-11 with the likes of Ladbrokes and William Hill so consider the Bhoys at 1-1 with Blue Square minus one or 21-20 with boylesports to win to nil.

Anthony Stokes netted six times against the Dons last season and is 4-1 at Ladbrokes to break the deadlock. Gary Hooper is 7-2 favourite with Ladbrokes while Kris Commons is 5-1 at bet365.

Aberdeen’s best hope lies with Scott Vernon who is 11-1 at bet365 and Paddy Power.

Stokes and Hooper both scored hat-tricks in the first meeting of the sides last season and any Celtic player to net a treble has been enhanced by William Hill from 5-1 to 9-1.

In the other SPL clash Motherwell entertain a Hearts side who have been told by owner Vladimir Romanov to aim for the title.

That of course is pie in the sky but new boss Paulo Sergio will be trying to play out the madcap Lithuanian’s dream.

Sergio made a cracking start in charge by leading the Jambos to a Europa League success over Hungarians Paksi that sets up a Battle of Britain showdown with Spurs.

However, in his first SPL match in charge he could struggle against a Motherwell side who win their opener 3-0 at Fir Park against Inverness and looked hugely impressive.

Stuart McCall has so far clung on to star man Jamie Murphy and he’s a decent shout at 17-2 with bet365 to score first.

John Sutton returns to his old club and is 6-1 with Betfred and bet365. Sutton amazingly netted in his last four starts for Well v Hearts so let’s hope he puts one in at the right end.

It should be a decent game and one in which both teams score (4-5, William Hill, bet365). The sides fought out a 3-3 thriller in April and William Hill go 11-4 on more than 3.5 goals.

I reckon Well will sneak a win and the place to go is Paddy Power who offer 7-4.

Hearts are a biggest 7-4 with the likes of Ladbrokes and Chandler while the draw pays 23-10 with Coral.

Recommendations

Celtic -1

(1-1, Blue Square)

Stokes to score first

(4-1, Ladbrokes)

Motherwell

(7-4, Paddy Power)

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