St Johnstone vs AberdeenScottish Premiership, KO: 15:00 Nov 24, 2019, McDiarmid Park
ABERDEEN had finally started to pick up a bit of form before the international break and will be looking to keep their good run going when they visit McDiarmid Park.
After putting in one of their worst performances under Derek McInnes in a 4-0 home thrashing by Celtic there were more than few grumblings within the Pittodrie support.
But the Dons responded well to that crushing blow, beating Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Ross County to move back into third place and restore morale within the ranks of the Red Army.
While the win at Hamilton was ugly and unconvincing, Aberdeen rediscovered a bit of swagger in the other two games, netting three times in each match.
So there's a sense McInnes' side may be turning the corner, especially with several key players having recovered from long-term injuries.
Craig Bryson, their big summer signing from Derby, has started the last two games to edge closer to match fitness while defender Ash Taylor was on the bench for the clash with County.
The international break has given them more time to work on their fitness so McInnes almost has a full squad to pick from, with Funso Ojo, Zak Vyner and Scott Wright the only absentees.
That should help Aberdeen get a bit more consistency and they should have enough quality to take care of a struggling St Johnstone side.
McDiarmid Park has been a happy hunting ground of late for the Dons, who haven't lost their since a 3-0 defeat in April 2016. They have won on three of their last five visits, drawing the other two, so I'll be backing McInnes' side here at 23/20 with Ladbrokes.
Saints have only won two Premiership games all season and both those victories came against fellow strugglers in the shape of Hamilton and Hearts.
They were thrashed 4-1 at home by Hibs in the last game before the international break and a dark cloud has been hanging over Perth all season.
If boss Tommy Wright hadn't brought so much success to the club, leading them to Scottish Cup glory and qualification for Europe several times, then he might have already been sacked.
The Irishman remains an excellent manager but the squad he has assembled this season has massively underachieved. Most fans thought things would start getting better when talismanic former striker Stevie May returned to the club from Aberdeen.
But May has netted just twice in nine games and the last of those goals was nothing but a consolation at the death of that 4-1 hiding by Hibs.
Footballers have a habit of netting against their former clubs, however, so I wouldn't be too surprised if May got one here. He's 16/5 with Paddy Power for anytime scorer and that looks pretty generous.
With goalscoring wingers such as Matty Kennedy and Michael O'Halloran on the books, St Johnstone should be scoring a lot more than they have this season.
But the defence, usually one of the strong suits for any Wright side, has been their biggest problem. The Perth men have kept just one clean sheet all season in the league and the fact they let Hibs flop Christian Doidge net a hat-trick suggests there's something seriously amiss at the back.
Recent clashes between these sides haven't been free-scoring with each of the last five matches having exactly two goals in them. That's why the bookies price under 2.5 goals at a best 18/25 with Marathonbet but I've a feeling this match will be a bit more entertaining.
Over 2.5 goals is 31/25 with the same firm and I'll be on that, given Aberdeen have netted three in their last two games and Saints continue to look ropey in defence.
Sam Cosgrove has been a goal machine for the Dons this term, with 16 strikes in total but his odds are a bit too short for me here in the anytime scorer market at a best 13/10 with Ladbrokes.
So I'll be going for winger Ryan Hedges, who looks overpriced at 4/1 with Paddy Power, given the Welshman netted on his last appearance against Ross County.
Both these teams play with out-and-out wingers and offer a threat from set-pieces so I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a few corners in this one. The only problem is the prices aren't great with over 10.5 corners as short as 11/10 with 888Sport.
This Scottish Premiership match between St Johnstone and Aberdeen will be played on Nov 24, 2019 and kick off at 15:00