WHILE Rangers have been dragged into a title race by Hibs and Falkirk it’s a surprise to see which team is sitting in fourth – the best of the rest in a way.
Morton have climbed to those lofty heights after four wins in a row and go into Friday’s Championship clash with local rivals St Mirren in great shape.
It’s the second Friday league encounter between the sides this season – the first Renfrewshire league derby for 15 years back in August was hard-fought and closely contested. In the end it finished 0-0 with one red card – which was my Super Single for anyone who remembers.
The reunion in Paisley is likely to be just as close and with Alex Miller in to help boss Ian Murray tighten the home defence it could be another low scorer. There is a chance of a sending-off but it pays no more than 2-1 (Skybet) and under 2.5 goals pays 20-23 at BetVictor and McBookie .
Referee John Beaton is the sixth most card-happy ref in the SPFL this season with an average of 3.86 – and has flashed three reds.
Since that meeting in August the pressure has grown on Saints boss Murray whose side have one win in eight – and none at home this season. Three defeats in a row – albeit to top three Rangers, Falkirk and Hibs – have left the Buddies sitting second bottom and a massive 12 points behind their rivals.
Morton have grown in stature and climbed to fourth with four league wins on the spin – conceding just one goal. So it’s a slight surprise to see bookies struggling to pick a winner with Ton a best 8-5 at William Hill and Saints a biggest 9-5 at Skybet. The draw is 13-5 with bet365.
Morton should be slightly shorter so there is value in backing them draw no bet at 17-20 with Ladbrokes.
My St Mirren mole tells me he expects Steven Thompson to start up top at the expense of Lawrence Shankland – but reckons Thommo has more chance of being booked than scoring. If any players to be carded prices appear I’ll add them.
Johnstone to score