JAN 17: THE EARLY KICK-OFFS

celticvrangers

AFTER the damp squib that was Rangers-Hearts I’m hoping for more action in Saturday’s early games north and south of the border.

First up in the English Championship it’s Derby v Nottingham Forest at 12.15pm and half an hour later Celtic kick off at Hamilton.

Derby (that’s derby and not Derby) games are usually tough to call as form goes out the window – but I’ve got no fears about backing County to beat fierce rivals Nottinghma Forest.

Steve McClaren’s side are in fine form and on their day boast the toughest attack in the Championship. His opposite number Stuart Pearce is a Tricky Trees legend but fans have been shouting “Timber” after a rotten run of two wins in 19 games.

Forest are freefalling down the table and I can’t see past Derby at a best 8-11 with bet365 and William Hill.

McClaren’s men are sometimes branded a soft touch but rolled up their sleeves to notch an ugly win at Ipswich last weekend so should be up for a fight against their East Midlands neighbours.

Derby won this fixture 5-0 last season and with the likes of Scotland caps Chris Martin and Johnny Russell in fine form they can be considered minus one at 19-10 (sportingbet).

Martin notched the winner at Portman Road and is 4-1 at McBookie to strike first again. County have lost Jordon Ibe who has been recalled by Liverpool and Peter Eustace is banned but their squad should cope with the absences.

New signing Stephen Warnock is nursing an ankle injury and will not be involved while teenager Isak Ssewankambo, who also joined the Rams this week, is not expected to feature.

Forest manager Stuart Pearce is hopeful top scorer Britt Assombalonga will overcome a hip problem. However, Matty Fryatt and Michael Mancienne remain out. Midfielder Henri Lansbury is available again after a two-match ban while centre-back Kelvin Wilson has been training after missing out last weekend through illness.

Celtic return to action after a short winter break in Gran Canaria to try to close the four-point gap on Aberdeen.

The champions – with two games in hand – are still hot favourites at a best 1-8 with William Hill to retain the title and I expect them to be crowned at the end of the season.

But the fact we’re even talking about a flag fight is credit to the Dons. Celtic have a tough test at Hamilton and if they lose in the lunchtime showdown the Dons will have a chance of storming seven points clear by beating Dundee.

Accies beat the Hoops at Parkhead but are reeling from the loss of boss Alex Neil to Norwich and I can’t see past the Parkhead men.

Celtic are no bigger than 2-5 with the likes of McBookie so you have to decide if that’s good value for an away.

Accies battled well without Neil to lose 3-2 at home to Dundee United so there’s a decent chance of both to score at 19-20 with McBookie and BetVictor.

John Guidetti says he’s not worried about his five-game scoring drought and he should be refreshed after his break. Back the Swede at 7-2 with boylesports to score first.

I’m more confident about Aberdeen than Celtic today with the Dons 1-2 at bet365 to make it nine wins in a row.

Later Aberdeen should beat a Dundee side with serious injury concerns. Derek McInnes’s men haven’t conceded in any of those outings and are 13-10 at McBookie, BetVictor and bet365 to win to nil against opponents who haven’t netted on their last three visits to Pittodrie.

Recommended Bets

Derby -1
(19-10, sportingbet)

Derby/Celtic double
(6-4, William Hill)

Martin/Guidetti anytime scorer double
(23-10, Ladbrokes)

Aberdeen to win to nil (3pm)
(13-10, McBookie, BetVictor, bet365)

5 Comments
  1. Jonny0902 2 years ago

    Hi mr f, I’ve followed the tips and advice on the site for a while now and I’d like to congratulate you on doing a fine job. My tip for tomorrow is….

    Double
    Derby – 1 goal
    Ipswich – 1 goal

  2. Tomba 2 years ago

    As a Forest fan I am loathe to say it mr. f, but Derby are going to roll us over tomorrow.

    I think you can afford to be a little more optimistic with your handicap. I’m going for Derby -2.5@ 5.75/1

    Forest have a bit of a knack for letting returning players score against them, so I dread to think what a returning Steve McClaren will do to us.

    Our season was turned upside down earlier in the year, losing Andy Reid and Chris Cohen. Forest may be looking for a bit of vengeance in that regard, so over 3.5 cards @10/11 looks tasty too. Red cards are not unusual in this fixture, in fact, they are the norm.

    Chris Martin is in decent form at the minute and I really rate him. He plays like a Scottish Diego Costa. At 11/2 to score 2 or more, that’s great value.

    If it goes as badly as I think it will, Psycho might be gone by Sunday. I couldn’t find a market on bet365 but next manager to be sacked might be worth looking at here too. He’s a real hero to us tricky trees, but i think the honeymoon period is well and truly over.

    I may not be getting much joy from Forest at the minute, but at least I can try to make some money off them!!!

    So, with a heavy heart, the bets go like this…

    1 pt on Derby -2.5 AH @ 5.75/1 bet365
    5 pts Over 3.5 cards @ 10/11 bet365
    1 pt Chris Martin 2 or more goals @ 11/2
    Stuart Pearce sacked – ???

  3. Tomba 2 years ago

    I was blinded by my own rage. It’s over 5.5 cards at 10/11, not over 3.5. That changes things slightly. I’ll be praying for that to come in now!!!

  4. Robbie D 2 years ago

    Accies double chance at 12/5 for me.
    Also, double of btts in that game and Derby win

  5. Chris Guy 2 years ago

    HAMILTON VS CELTIC TIPS

    Lots of changes in the Celtic squad. Nir Bitton starts and the 6ft 5 defensive midfielder is a massive 33/1 for first goal and 12/1 anytime with Spreadex Sports. Jason Denayer is also back from injury and will be worth a punt at 8/1 with Betfred to score anytime.

    Recommended Bets:
    Nir Bitton First Goalscorer @ 33/1
    Nir Bitton to score anytime @ 12/1
    Jason Denayer to score anytime @ 8/1

    Good luck everyone

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