THE ref who was been mentioned most on this site in 2015 was Willie Collum. He’s building a reputation for making wrong calls in big games and has been at the centre of many controversies.
After awarding four penalties in his last two matches, at least three of them disputed and two clearly wrong, I advised backing a penalty at the televised Dundee v Celtic match on Wednesday.
Unfortunately that one was postponed so I was determined to check where Collum was this weekend. Remember this is the official who will be Scotland’s representative at Euro 2016 and one of McBookie‘s New Year specials is Collum 16-1 to take charge of the Final in France.
McBookie.com spokesman Paul Petrie summed this up nicely when he said: “Sadly Scotland won’t be at Euro 2016 but perhaps Willie Collum can have the ultimate year – although based on recent performances some may say he has no chance.”
So where is Collum on Saturday? At Celtic Park – no. Taking charge of a Dumbarton ground that will packed to the seams for the visit of Rangers or maybe the man in the middle for what could be an explosive Dundee derby.
In fact he’s at a low-key Championship match between Queen of the South and Livingston and if he makes a mistake it will hardly be noticed. For anyone interested a penalty to be awarded pays 11-4 at Paddy Power.
Dundee v Dundee United is the early Premiership match. As I said the Dens men were sunk by Storm Frank on Wednesday but will hope to hit Dundee United with HurriKane Hemmings on Saturday.
The call-off might be to Dundee’s advantage as they’ll be fresher than their neighbours. United went down 3-2 to Hearts on Wednesday and played the whole of the second half with 10 men.
It was another decent display from Mixu Paatelainen’s men but it’s eight games without a win and confidence must be seeping away. Not so on the other side of the street with Dundee having won the previous derby at Dens and hammered Hamilton 4-0 in their last home outing.
Kane Hemmings hit a hat-trick and followed up with a double in the 5-2 defeat at Ross County. The ex-Rangers striker is 7-1 at McBookie to score first and 21-10 at bet365 to net at any time and with sidekick Greg Stewart banned he looks an even better bet.
Dundee are no bigger than 21-20 at bet365 to win and it’s maybe a little short. United’s last two away games have totalled nine goals and Dee’s previous two have produced 11.
If United are to score it’s likely to come from Billy Mckay who has netted all but two of their goals during Mixu’s reign. He is 17-10 at McBookie to net.
Celtic dropped two points to Hearts last weekend but either side of that match title rivals Aberdeen shedded four points to Inverness and Partick Thistle.
It’s the Jags who are the visitors to Parkhead on derby day on a run of four wins and a draw. That kind of form makes Ronny Deila’s men extremely short at 1-4 with McBookie.
But again they are disadvantaged by a midweek trip to Pittodrie while Celtic have had a few days rest and a chance to get the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons fully fit.
Thistle haven’t netted on their last four visits to the east end and also drew a blank in a 2-0 home defeat earlier this season.
I think Celtic will edge and they are 6-5 with Paddy Power to win to nil against a side who will pose less of a goal threat than Hearts and Motherwell who both scored two against the champions.
Griffiths will be champing at the bit to get among the goals and if he starts back him at 3-1 with Coral to score first.
Inverness are beginning to tick again and entertain Ross County after their thrilling 4-3 midweek win at Hamilton. County’s 3-2 success over Killie wasn’t too shabby either and with the last seven derbies in Inverness seeing both on target that’s the way to go again.
Motherwell are on a run of three successive wins and can make it four against a Hamilton side sinking fast. Mark McGhee’s improving outfit are 5-4 at Stan James.
Hearts have had two tough games against Celtic and Dundee United and will hope for an easier match at Kilmarnock. The Jambos welcome back Juanma and are a best 21-20 with Stan James.
They have netted five in their last two matches and won 3-2 at Rugby Park earlier this season. Take Hearts to score 2+ at 4-5 with 888sport.
In the Championship Rangers head for Dumbarton hoping to build on their win against Hibs. They’ve won four out of four at the Rock and are no bigger than 1-4 with bet365.
Second-placed Falkirk aren’t much bigger at 11-21 with 888sport at Alloa while Hibs are 4-11 at home to Raith. All three should win but I’ll let you decide if 6-4 for the treble is value.
Dunfermline have hit 12 in two home games against Cowdenbeath this season but their Fife rivals come into this one having won four in a row and netted 12 goals.
Instead of Pars team goals consider total match goals over 3.5 at 1-1 with Ladbrokes.
In League Two Clyde could win the big one against Queen’s Park and Arbroath look a good bet at Montrose.
Bets to Consider
Hemmings to score first
Hearts to score 2+