HEARTS looked like a shoo-in for third place a couple of months ago with Hibs and Aberdeen in disarray.
When the Dons headed to Easter Road on January 28 it was dubbed El Sackico with pressure mounting on Jim Goodwin and Lee Johnson after a dismal run of results.
Goodwin was the one who got the bullet as the Hibees romped to a 6-0 win but it was a game that revived the fortunes of both clubs.
Johnson’s side suddenly clicked into top gear while caretaker Aberdeen boss Barry Robson didn’t take long to get his players to produce the kind of results they were clearly capable of.
While all this was happening, Hearts were starting to wobble a little and a run of three defeats in their last four Premiership games has fired the race for third place wide open.
A 3-0 loss at Pittodrie last time out saw Aberdeen cut the gap to just four points while Hibs are only one further adrift despite losing at Celtic in their final game before the international break.
The Jambos desperately need to get back on track today but won’t get it easy on the plastic pitch at Killie.
They needed to come from 2-0 down to salvage a point on their last trip to Rugby Park in October and this is a tough one to call.
Livingston, Rangers and Celtic are the only teams to have beaten Kilmarnock at home all season but McBookie still make Hearts 13/10 favourites. Derek McInnes’ side are 19/10 with the same firm for a massive three points while another stalemate pays 5/2.
Killie have only drawn one blank in their last eight and Hearts usually create chances so over 2.5 goals stands a chance at 19/20 with SBK.
Aberdeen will be hoping the Jambos slip up in Ayrshire as they bid to close the gap even further. Robson has been handed the reins until the end of the season at least after an impressive run of
four wins in five matches but faces a tricky test away at St Johnstone today.
The Dons edged a 1-0 win in Perth back in August and BTTS has only landed in one of the last eight meetings. I’ve a feeling that might change today though as Saints have only drawn one blank in their last five matches and backing both teams to score pays 20/21 at McBookie.
Andy Considine was booked against his old club when Aberdeen last came calling and is 2/1 at Bet365 for another card here.
Hibs are at home to Motherwell and it’s a game that promises goals with the Steelmen scoring in every game since Stuart Kettlewell took over from Stevie Hammell.
Kevin Nisbet should start after having time to work on his fitness during the break and he’s 15/8 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer.
Rock-bottom Dundee United face a daunting task as they head to Ibrox and McBookie make the Tannadice side 20/1 rank outsiders. It’s hard to find value but McBookie have a special that offers evens on over 1.5 goals, over 9.5 corners and over 2.5 cards.
Celtic head to Ross County tomorrow looking to maintain their nine-point lead ahead of next weekend’s derby at Parkhead.
Backing Hoops corners usually pays off and Celtic -5 in the handicap pays 49/50 here.
There’s a big game in the battle for a top-six place today as Livingston head to St Mirren.
- HT draw at Killie (6/5, Unibet)
- Over 2.5 goals at Hibs (19/20, BetVictor)
- Considine card (2/1, Bet365)
- St Mirren to win (11/10, McBookie)