Hamilton v Celtic
Scottish Premiership betting tips are back. The SPL returns from the enforced international break; we get started at New Douglas Park where struggling local side Hamilton play host to defending champions and current leaders Celtic in a 12.30pm kick-off shown live on Sky Sports. Accies start down in 10th, one place above St Mirren and the relegation zone. However, they do have a five-point cushion over The Buddies and could ramp up the pressure by taking points in the early start.
Their recent form makes beating Celtic highly unlikely, however. They go into game 14 of their season with a record reading three wins, one draw and nine defeats. The team did snatch a maximum when winning their penultimate start, handing a surprise 1-0 defeat to Livingston at this venue but reverted to type when being hammered by St Johnstone in their most recent tie, 4-0 the final score. Martin Canning told members of the press at full-time his boys were second best all over the park.
Celtic Finding Their Feet
Following a tricky start to their title defence, Celtic are back on track and already look good enough to push for a treble-treble, continuing Brendan Rodgers’ dominance of Scottish football. They smashed their way to the top of the table with a run of wins but had a draw away to Livingston to thank for finally seeing them past early pace-setters Hearts. Not the result Hoops fans had hoped for, but Livi is a difficult place to get points, Rangers already losing there earlier in the season.
The plastic pitch didn’t help matters any, but it looked like the Glaswegians were full of excuses to explain why their winning run had come to an end against a side currently sitting down in seventh, winless in three. There was more for fans to smile about in the Europa League, The Celts upsetting the odds to gain a revenge win over Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and keep their hopes of progressing from Group B alive. They have a tough job but are still in the mix heading towards the last two games.
Hoops to Get Back on Track
Points dropped at Livingston was tough to take given just how much improvement we’ve seen from Celtic this autumn; however, they are top of the table and have an early kick-off against a low ranked side. That gives them the perfect chance to get back to winning ways at the earliest opportunity and we expect them to do just that. Celtic are favourites with 7/1 (Bet365).
The Hoops kept a clean-sheet in each of their last four domestic matches and we fancy them to go and do the same again. They are a well-organised bunch playing against an opponent low on confidence and unlikely to roll the dice. Back Celtic to win to nil at 4/6 (William Hill). That should do a job in your weekend accumulators.
Sinclair Scored Three Last Season
Those after a bit more convincing can take heart from the formbook as this will be the second meeting between the sides this season. They played out a low-scoring Celtic win back in August at Parkhead when Dedryck Boyata saved his reputation with a match-winning goal on 63 minutes. A bet on Celtic to win to nil would’ve gifted you a profit that day and we’re hopeful sticking with that approach will do the same again here.
Looking at the three meetings last term and the champions won each of the trio with a bit to spare. Scott Sinclair notched three goals against Accies last term and his recent return to form is sure to inspire confidence in backers to rush out and support the Englishman again in this renewal. Back Sinclair to net first at Ladbrokes.
Rangers v Livingston
Rangers are out for revenge when inviting Livingston to Ibrox after the Lions dealt them a crushing blow at Almondvale earlier in the campaign. A 1-0 defeat heaped pressure on Steven Gerrard who, at the time, had failed to win away from home in the Scottish top-flight. However, the Englishman will be delighted to have since laid that ghost to rest. Rangers brings an impressive recent run of form that has lifted them to third in the table and within two points of leaders Celtic, all achieved despite those early teething problems for the gaffer and his new recruits.
The Gers did slip to a rather frustrating home draw with St Johnstone recently, a match they really should have won after taking an early lead, but the players wasted no time dwelling on it and bounced back to win their next two on the bounce, moving their five-game tally to four wins and that share. They were last seen demolishing Motherwell in Govan when raging to a remarkable 7-1 victory thanks to goals from Arfield x2, Tavernier, Morelos, Middleton and Grezda, the latter getting his first and second for the club in quick succession. Confidence is returning to the stands.
Livi Tough Nut to Crack
Livingston has proven to be a tough nut for punters to crack since coming up from the Championship as they have dropped points against teams they really should be beating and taken points from opponents they were expected to lose heavily to. Form lines of five, four, three reads like a team destined for a mid-table finish and that’s exactly where you’ll find the visitors when boarding a bus to Ibrox Park.
Winless in three, and with just one victory recorded in their last five, they have come to a crossroads. Aberdeen and the top-six is just two points away at present, while Hibs down in eighth a point behind. Fail to make a game of it against Rangers are they could be staring at a long, difficult winter where the fixtures come thick and fast. The novelty of playing Premiership football appears to have worn off and reality is beginning to set it. Thankfully, Gary Holt’s crew have already set aside a 15-point advantage over basement boys Dundee, taking the pressure off a little.
Take Bears to Roar
Rangers slipped up in the reverse fixture earlier this season and were dragged over hot coals by the media and some fans for it. Gerrard will have an easy task reminding his boys of the hurt felt leaving Almondvale empty-handed and that should be the driving force behind bagging three home points. If Rangers play to the best of their ability, they’ll score a few goals and you’ve got to fancy their chances on the back of a much-needed rest, Gerrard given the luxury of talking tactics on the training field.
Bookies have the Rangers win picked but there’s slightly better available than many would’ve expected. 23/20 – top price at Coral.
Hibs v Dundee
Hibs have endured a nightmare couple of weeks that has pulled them from title contenders to a side stuck in the bottom-six, but a home tie against 12th placed Dundee looks to have come just in the nick of time. Back the Edinburgh club to get back on track with an overdue three points at 4/9 (888sport).
Motherwell v Aberdeen
Well were crushed by Rangers last time, losing 7-1 and finishing the match with 10 men. However, they were locked at 1-1 when having a player sent off. The squad will be desperate to shake that embarrassment and we think they’ll give Aberdeen a game. Back both teams to score in this match at 19/20 (Bet365).
St Johnstone v Kilmarnock
This will be one of the standout fixtures of the day as St Johnstone, who have won each of their last five to climb to fifth, match fourth placed Kilmarnock who have lost only one of their last five and got the victory last time. Both teams to score is, again, the obvious pick at 19/20 (Bet365).
St Mirren v Hearts
The Hearts squad have been ravaged by injury and that has led to them surrendering pole position. The break came at exactly the right time for everyone in maroon; therefore, we’re expecting to see them respond with a ninth win of the campaign against relegation-threatened Saints. Back the away day at Ladbrokes and the 4/6 returned should come in useful. Hearts are the better side and have the confidence needed to stick the boot into an opponent coming in on the back of four losses and a draw.
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