ONE of my favourite episodes of the Simpsons is the one where Mr Burns recruits a team of Major League ringers to win a softball game against Shelbyville’s power plant and a million-dollar wager.

On the eve of the big match, a series of unfortunate events makes most of the ringers unavailable for selection while Don Mattingly is kicked off the team for refusing to shave off
nonexistent sideburns.

Left with just Darryl Strawberry to sprinkle some stardust, the enraged coach turns to address the rest of the Springfield squad.

Burns shakes his head and says: “All right you ragtag bunch of misfits, you hate me and I hate you even more.

“But without my beloved ringers you’re all I’ve got. So I want you to remember some inspiring things someone else may have told you in the course of your lives and go out there and win.”

You could easily imagine Derek Adams giving Ross County a similar team talk today as they prepare to face Celtic at Parkhead.

His return for a third stint as Staggies boss got off to a great start, with County collecting seven points from his first three games.

But they’ve added just one draw from their last five games and Adams’ decision to brand his old Morecambe side “100 times better” than County after a defeat by Dundee looks to have backfired spectacularly.

He publicly criticised the players again after last week’s miserable 3-0 home loss to Partick Thistle in the Cup, leading to suggestions he might have regretted taking the job.

Adams flatly denied that a few days later, insisting he loved the club and was glad to be back, but faces a stiff challenge rousing a squad in such terrible form.

To make matters worse, just like Mr Burns, he has a host of players out ruled out today, although thankfully none due to gigantism, radiation poisoning or a black hole.

Most of the problems are in defence so it could get ugly for the Staggies – McBookie’s 22/1 outsiders – if they concede early.

Celtic scored five in the Cup last week against Buckie Thistle and had almost as many ruled out through tight offside calls.

Over 3.5 Hoops goals today pays 15/8 at Paddy Power while winger Luis Palma looks good value at 7/4 (Bet365) for anytime scorer.

Title rivals Rangers have the chance to put a bit of pressure on Brendan Rodgers’ side before kick-off at Parkhead as they face St Mirren in the lunchtime kick-off.

Gers won 3-0 on their last trip to Paisley but only after the Buddies had picked up a first-half red card.

We saw 13 corners that day and that figure was matched when Saints lost 2-0 at Ibrox in December so I like over 10 corners here (10/11, Bet365).

Hearts have romped eight points clear in third place and are unbeaten in their last seven outings, winning six of those matches.

Their last defeat came at Pittodrie and it’s Aberdeen who come calling today in a huge match.

It promises to be a tight one so I like the half-time draw at 21/20 (McBookie).

Kilmarnock are the side closest to Hearts at the moment and Derek McInnes looks to have made a couple of shrewd signings this month in Greg Stewart and James Balagizi.

Hibs have also strengthened ahead of their trip to Rugby Park and mostly in attack so I’m going for BTTS at evens with QuinnBet.

I fancied Raith Rovers to beat Livingston in the Cup last week but David Martindale’s men dug deep to end a 13-game run without a win.

The Lions now host a Dundee side who have lost their way a bit with three defeats and a draw in their last four. For this one I fancy both sides to pick up two or more cards (10/11, Bet365).

The other Premiership clash today sees Motherwell head to St Johnstone and I fancy a one-goal winning margin (6/5, McBookie).

Super singles Palma to score (7/4, Bet365)
10+ corners in Paisley (10/11, Bet365)
BTTS at Killie (evens, QuinnBet)
One-goal win in Perth (6/5, McBookie)


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