IT’S derby day in the Scottish Premiership and that doesn’t make it any easier to predict winners.
There are four proper derbies as we start 2015 with a bang as well as Aberdeen v St Johnstone and Hamilton v Motherwell before the top-flight clubs go again on Sunday.
Much has been said this week about whether Aberdeen are genuine title contenders but I don’t believe they are. At the start of the season I tipped them to finish runners-up to Celtic and I believe that’s how it will finish.
Ronny Deila’s champions have suffered a blip and if Dons overhaul them today it could make it interesting but Celtic are likely to silence the doubters by coming out all guns blazing at Partick Thistle.
The Hoops are no bigger than 2-5 at Stan James to notch the points and while it’s not great value that’s my call. Crucially the Jags are missing six first-team players so with a squad stretched to the limit it’s asking a lot of them to make it three matches without a win for the champs.
John Guidetti has stopped scoring – no goals in five games – but the Jags are his favourite opposition having netted a hat-trick against them in the League Cup at the end of October.
It might be risky but I’m on Guidetti at 31-10 with McBookie to end his drought by hitting the opener.
Aberdeen face a tough test against a St Johnstone side who have won six in a row. The Dons have lost one of their last six and although they look short at a best 8-11 with Ladbrokes I’m backing them to edge this one.
Tannadice will be packed out for the Dundee derby and United are a best 10-11 at bet365 to bag the points.
Dundee’s form has faded and last week’s defeat at home to St Mirren was a shocker so I’ll go with the Tangerines to follow their home success over Celtic with another three points in a fixture they’ve dominated for a decade.
Nadir Ciftci struck early against Celtic and is 4-1 with Paddy Power and others to bang in the opener again.
Motherwell travel to Hamilton unbeaten in three under new boss Ian Baraclough and that could still be the case after their visit to New Douglas Park.
This is a tough one to call and I’m going for Well draw no bet at 3-1 with bet365.
Ross County have won just one of the last six Highland derbies at home but will be lifted by their 0-0 draw at Celtic. I can see County battling to another point and that pays 5-2 at Ladbrokes.
Both teams have scored in 10 of the last 12 meetings between St Mirren and Killie and a repeat in Paisley returns 37-40 with BetVictor.
The away side have only won one of those matches and boosted by their win at Dundee I can see the Buddies adding another three points at a best 6-4 with the likes of Ladbrokes and Betfred. You can even have Saints draw no bet at 4-5 with Ladbrokes.
Guidetti to score first (5.30pm)
Dundee Utd (12.15pm)
St Mirren DNB