SCOTTISH football often resembles a soap opera and Jim Goodwin’s arrival at Dundee United is a belter of a plot twist.
It looked like Goodwin had been written out of this season’s Premiership storylines after leaving Aberdeen under a cloud just a month ago.
But he’s back as one of the leading men in an enthralling relegation battle after Tannadice chiefs took a punt on him.
It’s not quite as shocking as Dirty Den returning to Albert Square or Bobby Ewing coming back from the dead but Goodwin’s appointment still came as a major surprise.
Some United fans are far from happy that the man who presided over Aberdeen’s embarrassing Scottish Cup loss to Darvel and a 6-0 battering by Hibs has now been trusted to keep them up.
But he has the chance to get them onside immediately in an opening game that is essential viewing as the Dons pitch up at Tannadice tonight.
United desperately need the points after a horror run of six defeats in a row saw the axe fall on boss Liam Fox.
Aberdeen’s form has picked up under caretaker Barry Robson, winning two of their last three, and their superior attack could give them the edge.
Both sides of the so-called New Firm have been a big disappointment this season but the Dons always carry a threat in the shape of Bojan Miovski and Duk.
That’s why McBookie make them 6/5 favourites, although that still looks decent value based on United’s recent displays.
Changing managers can often lift a team so that makes it a tricky one to call and Goodwin is 11/5 for a debut win.
I fancy Miovski for a goal at 13/8 with Unibet as the North Macedonian is in fine form with three in his last three outings.
There’s another jilted lover returns to his old manor with a new flame storyline as Stuart Kettlewell takes his rejuvenated Motherwell north to face Ross County.
The Staggies are in terrific form in Dingwall so plenty of punters will fancy the 8/5 at William Hill for a home win.
Eamonn Brophy was superb in last week’s win over United and looks a bit overpriced at 12/5 (Unibet) for another goal today.
Rangers are still reeling from last week’s cup final loss to Celtic but should get back on track against a Kilmarnock side with a dreadful record on the road this term.
Todd Cantwell should start after Michael Beale copped stick for putting him on the bench at Hampden and the winger appeals for an assist today at 8/5 (McBookie).
Hibs have been in fine form of late but their revival faces a tough test on the plastic at the Tony Macaroni today. Livingston are a tough nut to crack so I like a one-goal winning margin for either side at 5/4 McBookie.
Hearts host St Johnstone and will be desperate to atone for their Fir Park flop last time out. I fancy the Jambos to be winning at half-time and full-time (7/4, Coral).
Celtic will be out for revenge in Paisley tomorrow after St Mirren inflicted their only domestic loss this term.
Reo Hatate’s has been the driving force for the Hoops in midfield and the Japanese star is 7/2 at William Hill for a goal.