Ross County vs Partick ThistleScottish Premiership, KO: 16:30 Jun 4, 2023, Global Energy Stadium
PARTICK THISTLE are so close to a Premiership return but fans will be hoping their failure to deliver a fatal blow to 10-man Ross County at Firhill doesn't come back to haunt them in the Dingwall return.
I tipped the red-hot Jags to rack up a fifth successive play-off win on Thursday night and that bet was pretty much safe when young County defender Dylan Smith saw red after just 17 minutes when Thistle were already 1-0 up.
Brian Graham added a second just before the break and it looked my other bet of over 2.5 goals was also pretty safe when Kris Doolan's side continued to carve out chances after the interval.
But somehow Partick Thistle failed to add another goal, with Danny Mullen coming agonisingly close in stoppage-time when his shot was tipped on to the bar by Ross Laidlaw.
That save could be massive in the context of the tie as Ross County will fancy their chances of turning around a 2-0 deficit on home soil now they are back to a full complement of players.
As boss Malky Mackay pointed out in his after-match interview, the Staggies were 2-0 down at half-time in another crunch clash against St Johnstone a fortnight ago, only to surge 3-2 ahead before conceding a late leveller.
That means this tie is far from over, although Doolan will be looking for his side to kill off any hope of a comeback by netting first, just as Partick Thistle did against Queen's Park and Ayr in the last two play-off clashes.
How the bookies view it
Partick Thistle are now red-hot favourites to win promotion at just 2/7 with McBookie who price Ross County at 13/5 to turn on the tie around. But for a win on the night it's the Staggies who are favourites at 4/6 with Bet365 while another win for the Jags pays 4/1 with the same firm and the draw is priced 29/10 at Betfair.
Recent head to head
That first-leg triumph made it three games unbeaten in this fixture for Partick Thistle, with two wins and a draw. But it was Ross County who held the upper hand before that, with four wins and a draw in five matches.
Players to watch
Yan Dhanda looked lively at Firhill and his creativity will be key to Ross County's hopes of a comeback. The playmaker is 3/1 with Be365 for anytime scorer and should be on the penalties.
Scott Tiffoney is a huge goal threat from midfield and weighed in with a double at Ayr on Partick's last road trip after I'd flagged him up for a goal. He's 17/4 with StarSports for another strike here.
Anything else catch the eye?
Ross County need to go for it so bodes well for an open game, especially with Doolan vowing to go on the attack in search of a killer goal. BTTS is 17/20 at 888Sport and over 2.5 goals pays 22/25 with Unibet. I also fancy most goals to come after the break and that's 11/10 with McBookie.
We saw 16 corners in the first leg so it could pay to back more flag kicks here, although I've yet to see that market priced up.
This Scottish Premiership match between Ross County and Partick Thistle will be played on Jun 4, 2023 and kick off at 16:30. Check below for our tipsters best Ross County vs Partick Thistle prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.