CELTIC vs. DUNDEE
Celtic’s Champions League campaign was expected to define their season this year. A goalless draw with Benfica at Parkhead on Wednesday night has at least given Neil Lennon’s side a platform on which to base a push for a place in the last 16. But domestically the Hoops languish in fifth place in the SPL table, four points off the pace set by Motherwell. If that form continues their failure to retain a title in an SPL devoid of the Old Firm rivalry won’t just define their season, but Lennon’s tenure as manager.
In Dundee they face a side this weekend that took five attempts to register their first goal, but Celtic have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league since their opening day win over Aberdeen. And with Lennon’s side found the net in every SPL game so far this term, both teams to score is available at 2.20.
Despite this the league champions have looked rather anemic in front of goal in September, with Miku, signed from Getafe on a year-long loan on deadline day, struggling to forge an understanding with strike partner Gary Hooper. As a result Lennon deployed Hooper as a lone striker on Wednesday night’s Champions League clash with Benfica. Dundee’s aforementioned indifference in front of goal means under 2.5 total goals scored is available at 2.40.
DUNDEE UNITED vs. HEARTS
While Celtic’s title defence has got off to a faltering start, others have taken advantage. After Dundee United’s impressive 3-0 opening day win over Hibernian the Tangerines were expected to be the team to challenge the champions, if anyone could do it.
Since then Peter Houston’s side have won just once in four games, playing out two goalless draws in their last two league fixtures, and another 0-0 draw is available at 8.50.
In line with a current theme in the SPL currently, United’s opponents this weekend, Hearts are also struggling to find the net of late, with manager John McGlynn publically confessing before last week’s 2-0 defeat to St Mirren that “it would have been nice to get another striker in”.
Former Motherwell front man John Sutton has been largely burdened with providing the goals for the Edinburgh side, and although Ryan Stevenson has returned to Gorgie from Ipswich, the Jambos look disjointed in attack, making Hearts not to score, available at 2.35, a worthwhile pick.
ROSS COUNTY vs. ST JOHNSTONE
By their very definition, Ross County are a solid side. It’s the word the Daily Record newspaper chose to sum up their chances of avoiding relegation this season in their SPL preview issue. Six games, and only a single goal conceded later, and that word still provides a brief for Derek Adams’ team.
The Staggies’ defensive resolution has provided a platform for them to stage a 40 game unbeaten streak that stretches back all the way to August 2011. That run has continued into their maiden top-flight season, with County yet to suffer defeat. However, Adams’ team have notched just one win (drawing five), with another draw available at 3.10.
St. Johnstone have also recorded just the sole victory this season, but with that win coming against Celtic last weekend County will be wary of their opponents on Saturday.
Goals from Gregory Tade and Rowan Vine overturned Kris Commons’ drilled first half opener, lifting the Perth side away from the foot of the table, where they’d languished before kick-off. It was the first time this season Steve Lomas’ men have found the net more than once, and they are available at 12.50 to repeat last weekend’s scoreline, 1-2, against Ross County.
- Back Celtic to beat Dundee 1-0 at 7.00.
- Back under 1.5 total goals scored between Dundee United and Hearts at 2.90.
- Back away team (St Johnstone) not to score against Ross County at 2.00.