SURVIVAL Sunday is looming in the Premiership but Dundee United’s chances of emerging unscathed look as gloomy as John Hurt’s when he starts complaining about chest pains in Alien.
A horror 3-0 defeat by Kilmarnock in midweek led to tangerine screams at Tannadice and it has left Jim Goodwin’s side staring into the abyss, with an eight-goal swing needed to stay up.
It looked like Killie were going to avoid any final-day fears when they were coasting to victory in Tayside and Ross County were trailing 2-0 at home to St Johnstone.
But the Staggies staged a comeback to lead 3-2 and even a last-gasp Saints leveller wasn’t too much of a blow as County’s fate is still in their own hands on the final day.
Although they trail Kilmarnock by three points, Malky Mackay’s men have the superior goal difference so a win in Ayrshire will secure top-flight football for another season.
That’s easier said than done though as only the Old Firm, Livingston and St Johnstone have managed to win at Rugby Park all season.
That’s why Killie are 21/20 favourites at McBookie with County at 13/5 and the draw paying 12/5.
It should be a tense and tight game so I’m on the half-time draw at 11/10 with Betfred.
Dundee United need County to lose heavily to stand a chance but it’s hard to see Goodwin’s men getting anything from their trip to Fir Park.
Motherwell have lost just twice in 13 games since Stuart Kettlewell took charge so they look terrific value at 19/20 (Coral) to beat a United side who look resigned to their fate. All eyes will be on Kevin Van Veen as he bids to score for the 11th consecutive game.
The Dutchman has a merciless streak that might tempt linesman Douglas Ross into trying to recruit him for the Scottish Tories. He will relish sinking his teeth into United’s defence and is evens at Bet365 for another goal.
It’s all about the other half of the table today and there’s a cracker at Tynecastle as Hibs look to jump above Hearts into fourth.
Edinburgh derbies usually aren’t for the faint of heart but with so much at stake today it feels like both sides are downing a pint and then throwing the glass over their shoulder to spark a full-on Begbie rammy.
Even over 5.5 cards is just 5/6 at Bet365 so it’s better to back certain players to fall foul of the ref.
Cammy Devlin has two yellows in his last three outings and is 11/8 with Bet365 for another card. In the green corner, veteran stopper Paul Hanlon is 6/5 with the same firm to pick his eighth card this season.
Hibs beat Celtic in midweek and it’s now three games without a win for the champions ahead of next weekend’s Cup Final with Inverness Caley Thistle.
But the Hoops have still been racking up corners so I fancy over five first-half flag kicks (11/10, Bet365) as they host Aberdeen.
Rangers head to St Mirren and Michael Beale could give some fringe players a chance to shine with nothing at stake.
Rabbi Matondo looked sharp off the bench in midweek and is 12/5 (W Hill) for a goal.
- Half-time draw at Killie (11/10, McBookie)
- Motherwell win (19/20, Coral)
- Hanlon card (6/5, Bet365).
- Over five first half corners at Celtic (11/10, Bet365).