IT’S a big weekend in the Scottish Premiership with Celtic trying to move three points clear of Aberdeen and pile the pressure on the Dons who travel to Inverness on Monday.
There are some big games at the other end of the table with Dundee United showing signs of improvement ahead of their visit to Hamilton.
McBookie are offering 7-2 United can finish the season away from the bottom spotand spokesman Paul Petrie said: “Saturday is a great chance for Dundee Utd to cut the gap and give themselves a fighting chance of survival.
“Fans are confident as we have had plenty of them backing Dundee Utd not to finish bottom of the league. That might change if they don’t win on Saturday.”
United have signed ex-Inverness striker Edward Ofere and I don’t think they’ll lose but on the plastic it could be a draw. Dundee United draw no bet is 4-5 at Coral.
Celtic boss Ronny Deila has come under fire in recent weeks with back-to-back defeats to Ross County and Aberdeen followed by the club’s worst-ever 2-0 victory – against East Kilbride in the Scottish Cup.
Aberdeen have piled on the pressure by drawing level at the top of the Premiership but there’s been an over-reaction to a couple of bad results.
Efe Ambrose was responsible for the League Cup defeat to County after being red-carded and a 2-1 loss to Aberdeen at Pittodrie was no disgrace. Sure, only scoring two against EK was embarrassing but this was a no-win situation for Celtic.
If they win their game in hand, added to their superior goal difference, they’ll have the equivalent of a four-point advantage over the Dons which is what bookies offer no bigger than 1-14 they retain their crown with Derek McInnes’s men 8-1
What Deila must do is wreak revenge on County and get Celtic’s title bid back on track. County are making history this season but they’ve never won a league game at Parkhead. They are a biggest 12-1 at bet365 to potentially end Deila’s days in Glasgow while a draw is 11-2 with McBookie.
Celtic continue to concede and having netted three in their semi-final success County should at least notch one. An alternative bet is over 3.5 goals at 5-4 with William Hill – there have been nine in the last two meetings between the sides.
Hearts look to have third place sewn up and and are aiming for a third win this season against Partick Thistle. They’ve beaten the Jags 3-0 and 4-0 and another win to nil pays 23-10 at McBookie. It’s worth noting Jags boss Alan Archibald has said he’ll adopt more defensive tactics so unless they concede early it could be a low scorer.
And Hearts, who have had a few problems with players carrying knocks and suspensions, could have an eye on Tuesday’s Scottish Cup replay against Hibs.
In the Championship Rangers head to Alloa and the Wasps are again narrowing their pitch in a bid to gain an advantage.
They did it against Falkirk recently and lost 1-0 and this could be another low scorer with less space to play on another artificial surface. Rangers are no bigger than 1-8 with Coral but I like under 2.5 goals at 21-10 with boylesports.
Hibs are in the middle of a hectic spell but between Scottish Cup derbies with Hearts I don’t expect them to take their eye off the ball.
They are involved in the live BBC ALBA match tonight at Livingston and are 1-2 with McBookie and others. Anthony Stokes has scored in both league matches he’s played since signing on loan from Celtic and is 6-5 at bet365 to do so again.
Falkirk face a Raith side who haven’t scored this year (five matches) and are 9-4 with Hills to win to nil.
Celtic & btts
Dundee Utd DNB
Alloa v Rangers under 2.5 goals
Falkirk to win to nil