IT will be interesting to see what kind of reception Craig Levein gets when he returns to Tynecastle today as St Johnstone boss.
With Hearts sitting bottom of the table on Halloween in 2019, the horror story was finally brought to an end, the board saving their director of football from sacking himself by dismissing Levein from both roles.
That looked like being an ignominious end to his career as a top-flight boss but after a four-year exile he’s now back in the dugout at McDiarmid Park.
Levein has made an impressive start for Saints, with four points in his first two games lifting them off the foot of the Premiership.
But both those games were in Perth and his first assignment on the road takes him back to his old stomping ground.
One of Levein’s final signings for Hearts was Steven Naismith and he will now pit his wits against the former Rangers and Scotland striker in the dugout.
Naismith has yet to win over the fans in Gorgie but back-to-back league wins over Livingston and Motherwell have lifted the Jambos up to fourth in the table.
McBookie make them 8/15 hot favourites for another victory today with Saints as big as 5/1 and the draw paying 16/5.
Hearts have superior players but this match should be closer than those odds suggest as Levein will have been drilling Saints during the international break.
The 6/4 available at McBookie for either side to win by a one-goal margin looks good and the half-time draw also appeals at 13/10.
Lawrence Shankland has roared back to form, with five goals in his last seven games, and the Hearts skipper is 11/10 with 888Sport for anytime scorer in this one.
Levein’s impact in Perth didnt’ go unnoticed at relegation rivals Ross County who have replaced Malky Mackay with Derek Adams in a bid to spark their own revival.
Adams is back at Victoria Park for a third time and has returned to the ground more often than that old lag from the County jail who just couldn’t adapt to life outside of the clink.
He kicks off with a visit from Killie today and I’m tempted by the 21/10 on offer at McBookie for a Staggies win as Derek McInnes’ men don’t have a great away record.
Celtic headed into the break on a high after scudding Aberdeen 6-0 and now host Motherwell.
We’ve seen over 1.5 first-half goals in Celtic’s last five at home so that bet could be worth a punt at 11/10 (Coral).
The Hoops have also won the corner count by 10 or more in their last three domestic outings so backing Celtic -7 in that handicap appeals at 11/8 (Unibet).
Hibs ended their seven-game run without a win by beating Kilmarnock last time out but now visit a Dundee side who battered St Mirren 4-0 in their last Dens outing.
I can see it being close and the half-time draw looks like the best option (23/20, SportingIndex).
The Buddies will look to bounce back from that Dens mauling when they host rock-bottom Livingston today. Combining a St Mirren win with under 3.5 goals pays 112/100 at McBookie.
Tomorrow’s game should be a cracker as in-form Rangers head to Pittodrie.
Cards are always a good option in this fixture and I like the 6/5 on offer at Bet365 for Aberdeen stopper Slobodan Rubezic to go in the book