IT’S a big weekend in the SPFL with Celtic v Dundee Utd going to war for the fourth successive game and Hearts having a chance to win the Championship.
After six reds in three meetings a sending-off at Parkhead on Saturday will be a popular pick while Hearts will be champions if they beat Falkirk and Hibs fail to take care of Rangers.
The latter part is unlikely with Hibs in great form and Rangers suffering five draws in a row. I’ll be on Hibs to win at just over evens. McBookie.com are offering 7-4 Hearts will be crowned champions on sunday and spokesman Paul Petrie said: “People were suggesting the Championship could be the most competitive league in Scotland and yet we find ourselves in the situation where it will be the first won.
“Sadly for us, despite the fact Hearts were second favourites, they were the best backed team in the league and there will be plenty happy punters counting their winnings very soon.”
Rangers are 2-1 with William Hill to be promoted and 10-1 to fail to make the play-offs by finishing outside the top four. They are 5-1 to win the Premiership before the start of season 2017-18, 11-4 2018-19 Season and 7-4 2019-20.
Celtic are just 5-1 to win nine titles in a row and 8-1 to do the magic 10. Meanwhile, here is Owen Scott of William Hill with some stats-based specials on this weekend’s games. These are not tips.
CELTIC v DUNDEE UTD
Jason Denayer has opened the scoring in
the last two meetings between the sides
at Celtic Park.
DENAYER TO SCORE AND CELTIC WIN 9-2
PARTICK TH v INVERNESS
There have been at least two goals
scored in the first half in each
of the last three matches between these sides.
OVER 1.5 FIRST HALF GOALS 12-5
ROSS COUNTY v KILMARNOCK
Both sides are in good form with Ross
County unbeaten in their last five matches
and Killie in seven. Both
teams have scored in four of their
last five matches against each other.
MATCH TO BE A SCORE DRAW 16-5
ST JOHNSTONE v ST MIRREN
St Johnstone have won four of the last
six meetings between these sides. In
all four they never conceded.
ST JOHNSTONE TO WIN TO NIL 2-1
FALKIRK v HEARTS
Hearts have won their last five away
matches. Both teams have scored in
all five of those games.
HEARTS TO WIN AND BOTH TO SCORE 12-5
LIVINGSTON v DUMBARTON
Dumbarton have won the last four away
matches against Livingston, both teams
have scored in all four games.
DUMBARTON TO WIN AND BOTH TO SCORE 4-1
QOS v COWDENBEATH
Cowdenbeath have failed to score in
their last four games. Queens have
failed to score only once in their last 10
home matches in the league.
QOS TO WIN TO NIL 13-8
RAITH v ALLOA
The last two matches between these
sides in Kirkcaldy both finished 1-1.
MATCH TO BE A SCORE DRAW 16-5
HIBS v RANGERS
Hibs beat Rangers 4-0 in December and
also have had a 3-1 win at Ibrox
earlier in the season.
HIBS TO WIN AND 4+ MATCH GOALS 3-1
Celtic v Dundee United
Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen returns from suspension. Forward Anthony Stokes will miss out after being sent off in the Hoops’ 4-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final replay win over the Taysiders on Wednesday night. Former United midfielders Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven are eligible after being cup-tied against their former side while full-back Adam Matthews is set to return from an ankle injury. Charlie Mulgrew (hamstring tendon) and right-back Mikael Lustig (ankle) are still out.
Ryan McGowan is available for Dundee United after the Tannadice club appealed against his midweek red card at Parkhead. Left-back Paul Dixon returns from suspension for the Tayside club but Calum Morris (thigh), Mario Bilate (hamstring) and Sean Dillon (leg) are all injured.
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Dundee v Aberdeen
Dundee are missing several players. Gary Irvine (knee), Jim McAlister (knock), Luka Tankulic (leg) and Gary Harkins (stress fracture) are all out while Greg Stewart is a doubt with a leg knock. Iain Davidson and Paul Heffernan could return to the squad.
Jonny Hayes (calf), Willo Flood (ankle) and Peter Pawlett (groin) are all doubts for Aberdeen. The three midfielders tried to step up training towards the end of this week. Andrew Driver is closing in on a debut after scoring in a development game while Russell Anderson (knee) remains out.
Referee: Craig Thomson.
Partick Th v Inverness
Partick striker Lyle Taylor is a doubt after picking up a knee injury in training. Kallum Higginbotham is still suspended while Dan Seaborne (ankle) remains out along with Sean Welsh (ankle). Christie Elliott is still out with a broken hand and Ben Richards-Everton is doubtful.
Gary Warren returns from suspension for Inverness. The defender has missed the last two games after being sent off against Dundee United at Tannadice. Referee: Steven McLean.
Ross County v Kilmarnock
Jackson Irvine and Liam Boyce are pushing for returns for Ross County after missing last weekend’s draw with Hamilton through injury. Rocco Quinn is getting closer to a return from hip surgery after playing 70 minutes in a development game while Ben Frempah and Richard Brittain are both back in full training but not ready to feature in the first team. Darren Barr (knee) remains on the sidelines.
Kilmarnock defender Darryl Westlake returns from suspension. Midfielder Euan Smith has picked up a knock and he will be assessed by interim boss Gary Locke. Rory McKenzie (knee), defender Mark Connolly (broken collarbone), midfielder Jamie Hamill (ankle) and striker Michael Ngoo (ankle) remain on the sidelines.
Referee: Bobby Madden.
St Johnstone v St Mirren
St Johnstone defender Steven Anderson is fit after recovering from illness. Midfielder Simon Lappin has an outside chance of featuring after making good progress from a knee injury. Tommy Wright otherwise has a full squad.
St Mirren boss Gary Teale will take the same squad which suffered last-gasp heartache against Kilmarnock last week to Perth. Defender Marc McAusland is still struggling with his knee while midfielder Isaac Osbourne is out long term after ankle surgery.
Referee: John Beaton.