IS there or isn’t there a title race? That’s the big question being asked in Scottish football. The answer is yes but how long it lasts is anyone’s guess.
Aberdeen are doing their best to give Celtic a run for their money and last week’s defeat of the champions followed by victory over Hamilton on Tuesday made it seven league wins out of seven.
The Dons have a five-point lead but face another tough test when they travel to Hearts on Sunday. I’d love to see a real title battle – the type that brought helicopters and conspiracy theories into play – and for it to happen the Dons must win at places such as Tynecastle.
For the sake of football let’s hope for an away win but my head says the Jambos will take at least a point. Aberdeen are a best 6-5 at William Hill with Hearts 3-1 at Coral and a draw possible at 5-2 with Betfred.
Not to lose the Jambos are 5-6 with bet365 and while they’ve been beaten in their previous two at Hamilton and Inverness they enjoy a 100 per cent record at Tynie.
The Dons have won just once in 11 visits to Hearts – the last coming in 2010.
I like the look of both to score with Hearts games at home averaging four goals and Derek McInnes’s men have of course netted in every encounter. That pays 39-40 with McBookie.
McBookie rate Aberdeen 6-4 to be top on Christmas day and 8-1 to lift the title. For me there’s no value in that when you consider they were 17-2 plus 23 points on the antepost handicaps.
It’s 5-1 the title race goes to the last game and Aberdeen are 12-1 to win every league game win until Hallowe’en when they face Celtic.
The Hoops are in action on Sunday on the back of their superb and unexpected Europa League draw at Ajax. Holland’s only an hour or so away so there are no travel excuses and they should beat Dundee.
Nadir Ciftci is a possible starter against the side he picked up a biting ban at the end of last season. The ex-Dundee Utd man is 11-10 at Skybet to grab his first Hoops goal against his old foes.
However, it’s their own former player they could fear most with Leigh Griffiths opening the scoring last time they met at Parkhead and first in three of Celtic’s last four home games. He is 3-1 with William Hill to break the deadlock.
Paul Hartley’s men have been decent on the road and there is every chance Celtic will concede and the away side are 5-6 at Paddy Power just to net.
To win the Hoops are no bigger than 1-4 at William Hill so you may have to consider Celtic -1 at 4-6 with Paddy Power.
Hearts not to lose
Celtic v Dundee both to score
(5-6, Paddy Power)