THE bookies have been left in a spin ahead of the Old Firm derby – with more than just the form book going out the window.
Rangers v Celtic
At the start of the season Gers would have been heavy favourites to win the first showdown with the Hoops at Ibrox.
They were still basking in the glory of last term’s title triumph while Celtic looked a team in disarray as new manager Ange Postecoglou desperately tried to tidy up the mess he inherited from Neil Lennon.
But the mood music has changed since Gers crashed out of the Champions League qualifiers, with Steven Gerrard’s side looking out of sorts while Postecoglou has turned the Hoops into a dynamic attacking force again.
Celtic were cut to evens with some firms when it emerged several Gers stars could miss out but the Ibrox club were still able to field a strong side against Alashkert in midweek and it has emerged some of the players who missed out may return tomorrow.
So McBookie make Rangers 8/5 for a win, with Celtic at 13/8 and the stalemate paying 12/5.
Both teams stumbled into the Europa League group stage with Gers drawing 0-0 against 10-man Alashkert and the Hoops losing 2-1 at Alkmaar but still progressing.
The Dutch’s side’s relentless pressing showed how vulnerable Postecoglou’s side remain in defence despite their big threat in attack. So the best Old Firm option for punters is going for goals, with BTTS priced 20/27 at Mansionbet and over 2.5 goals a decent 15/16 at SBK.
It’s the first full house for the derby since lockdown and that could result in plenty of cards.
Alfredo Morelos is missing old sparring partner Scott Brown but is still good value for a card at 6/4 with Bet365. Stephen Welsh looks overpriced at 13/5 with the same firm.
Hibernian v Livingston
It’s Hibs who top the table and the Easter Road men look good value at 5/6 with Red Zone, especially for accas, to beat Livingston today.
Livi were my pre-season tip for the drop at 9/1 and have lost their first three Premiership games.
But the Hibees have been flying with Martin Boyle their main man for goals. He’s 11/4 with Paddy Power to grab another today.
Dundee Utd v Hearts
Hearts only trail their city rivals by goal difference and there will be an edge to today’s game with Dundee United as gaffer Robbie Neilson returns to Tannadice.
He left United to rejoin the Jambos in 2020, dropping down a division in the process, so a hot reception awaits back on Tayside.
It’s another tough one to call so I’m going for both teams to score at evens with Mansionbet.
Motherwell v Dundee
That bet also looks the call when Dundee head to Motherwell and it pays 20/21 with the same firm.
Aberdeen were battered by Qarabag on Thursday and I fancy over 2.5 goals (23/20, McBookie) as they host Ross County tomorrow.
St Mirren v St Johnstone
St Johnstone also crashed out of Europe to LASK Linz and face a tough test at St Mirren.
The Buddies have been leaking goals so BTTS stands a chance at 21/20 with McBookie.
- United v Hearts and Motherwell v Dundee (29/10, Mansionbet)