DUNDEE UNITED vs. INVERNESS
Inverness’ history as a senior league club is intertwined with memorable moments and results (the famous cup win over Celtic in 2000 comes to mind), but should this season continue in its current vein it could top the lot.
With the turn of the year fast approaching Terry Butcher’s side sit just three points adrift of the SPL’s summit. They’ve taken nine points from their last three league games. Not even Celtic can claim to match Caley Thistle’s recent form.
Furthermore, the Highland side have netted seven times in those games, with Billy McKay and Andrew Shinnie continuing their hot-streak in front of goal. Over 3.5 total goals between Inverness and Dundee United is available at 2.50.
Dundee United recorded their second 3-0 win over city rivals Dundee of the season last week, giving them a platform to mount a challenge on the top four positions over the festive period.
What was most encouraging for the Tangerines was that victory was not just the result of Johnny Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven’s impressive form of late, with Keith Watson, Willo Flood and Jon Daly all playing important roles.
The derby win was only the second time in their last seven league games that United have kept a clean sheet, but are available at 3.50 to make it two successive shut-outs.
HIBERNIAN vs. MOTHERWELL
Such is the current nature of the SPL just one result can redefine a season. Up until last week Hibernian had even been touted as potential title challengers (although those predictions might’ve been made rather optimistically), but a 3-0 defeat to Inverness dropped them to fourth position, their lowest standing since August.
Of course, Hibs’ campaign can still be considered successful so far, particularly considering their 11th place finish last season, but perhaps most concerning for the Edinburgh side is the goals that were once flowing have now seemingly dried up. On loan Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths has failed to find the net in his last three league fixtures, a rather unremarkable statistic, had he not scored 10 in the nine games before that. Pat Fenlon’s side are available at 3.10 to draw a blank.
A 3-2 win over Ross County last week has lifted Motherwell ahead of Hibs in the table by the virtue of goal difference, with the Steelmen currently on a run of five league games without defeat. The victory will have been of particular PLEASURE to manager Stuart McCall, who has seen his side struggle to impose themselves at home.
Nicky Law has rediscovered the form that marked him out as one of the league’s most creative midfielders and ‘Well’s front three all finally appear to be firing. The Fir Park side are available at 8.00 to beat Hibs 1-0.
ROSS COUNTY vs. DUNDEE
Derek Adams’ Ross County side might not be the resolute conservative side we expected this season, but they have proven their worth to Scotland’s top flight in their first few months there (both in results and entertainment).
County’s induction to the league saw them concede just once in their opening six fixtures, suggesting Adams’ would base his side on defensive strength. However, since then the Staggies have let in 24 goals in just 11 games, slumping to tenth place in the table.
Of course, that still positions them six points clear of the bottom, but Adams will undoubtedly wish to tighten up County’s backline as they prepare for a busy winter schedule. Ross County are available at 2.75 to keep a clean sheet.
A clash against fellow promoted side Ross County presents Dundee with a chance to half the gap at the bottom between them and the rest of the SPL. However, when a similar chance arose against St Mirren two weeks ago Barry Smith’s side were reduced to ten men within 20 minutes and eventually lost 3-1. They can’t afford another capitulation this time. Dundee are available at 11.00 to beat Ross County 1-0.
Back a draw between Dundee United and Inverness at 3.30.
Back Hibernian to beat Motherwell 1-0 at 9.00.
Back Ross County to be beating Dundee at half-time at 2.50.