IT's a huge day in the SPFL as both Glasgow sides look to move closer to Hearts and Hibs. It wont be easy though, Rangers welcome table-topping Hearts and Celtic always face a tough match in Perth against St Johnstone.
Rangers v Hearts (3pm)
Hands up if you thought by October Hearts would be 1st, Hibs 2nd, Celtic 5th and Rangers 7th – no i didn't think so. It's been a sensational start to the league season in Scotland, it's the first time in years we've had any sort of real title challenge and while I don't expect either Edinburgh club to win the league, it's making it a great spectacle.
Rangers welcome league leaders Hearts and know this is a game they can't afford to lose – defeat would see them slip 11 points behind Hearts. The only reason Steven Gerrard isn't under pressure this early in the season is because they are only two points behind rivals Celtic.
One thing you can say though is since taking over at the helm, he has turned Ibrox into a fortress – 10 games played, 9 matches won and there is a real feelgood factor at Ibrox at the moment. This is their toughest home game to date but I fancy them to use their home advantage and inflict a first league defeat on Craig Levein's men.
I'm not being disrespectful to Hearts, they have had a terrific season and I don't see that stopping any time soon. I just feel Rangers in front of their own fans is too much of an ask.
St Johnstone v Celtic (3.30pm)
It was a European horror show for Celtic in Austria on Thursday but it's back to league action as they look to make ground at the top of the table. It's been grim viewing watching them in the league this season and scoring goals has been a real struggle for them which is criminal given the talent they have and the cost of that talent.
They were in Perth a few weeks ago and although they only won 1-0, it really should have been by 3 or 4. Fully expect them to grind out another win here. We've struggled against the league's better sides and we'll be looking to keep it tight.
- Rangers /Celtic Double
- 5-4 (Totesport) (NAP)
UK Skybet Special
There are 6 matches in the UK today and Skybet are offering specials – there's a market I really like the look of based on the sides involved, total match goals.
- Fulham v Arsenal
- Southampton v Chelsea
- Liverpool v Man City
- Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday
- Rangers v Hearts
- St Johnstone v Celtic
Skybet are offering 5-6 on 18+ goals which i think has a great chance – works out at 3 goals per game but based on those matches, I believe there is a strong case for most of them to see at least three goals with some going over 3, especially at Fulham and Liverpool. Sheff Wed have been scoring goals and there's every chance we could see goals in the two Scottish games.
- 18+ goals to be scored
- 5-6 (Skybet)
Monaco v Rennes (4pm)
It's been a horrible start to the season for Monaco, they have been absolutely awful – without a win in 9, 3rd bottom of Ligue 1 and no goals in three games, its been a shambles of a season so far.
They are back on home soil and there are no real stats to support this but it's not always about stats – a few key things stand out.
- Monaco have had an extra day's rest
- Rennes had a gruelling trip to Astana on Thursday.
- Rennes are just one place above Monaco and have only won 1 of their last 6 games.
- Rennes have a terrible record against Monaco – just 5 wins in 24 trips to Monte Carlo and without a win in their last 12.
This is a bit of a risky one but Monaco need to start winning soon and they have no better chance than today against a side who can't be fresh after a trip to Kazakhstan, are in poor shape and have a terrible record against them.
- Monaco to beat Rennes
- 21-20 (Bet365)