Terry Butcher raged this week, that it was “farcical” to start the SPL season now, the Caley Thistle boss suggesting that managers haven’t finalised their squads just yet, and it’s the enforced, half-baked preparation that makes this first weekend hard to predict.
It means that Celtic may not be firing on all cylinders as they get their title bid under way at Easter Road but with the early start also likely to affect Hibs, punters can still confidently chuck a few quid on the Hoops to kick off with a win, at 2/5 with Stan James.
Nevertheless the Hibees, 15/2 outsiders at bet365, should improve this term after a disappointing 2010-11 campaign and on home soil and they can make life tough for Neil Lennon’s lukewarm charges, who are 14/5 (Partybets) to come out on top by a one-goal margin.
Of course Celtic would definitely take that at this point and Betdaq rate them at 15/2 to finish on the right side of a 2-1 scoreline in a clash Skybet chalk up at 8/11 to produce three or more goals.
Gary Hooper meanwhile, should certainly have a big say in who lands the Golden Boot this season and he can contribute to that goal tally by finding the net in Leith. The Hoops marksman is a 3/1 shot with to break the deadlock and 5/6 (Boylesports) to get on the scoresheet at any time.
Elsewhere, Dundee United look like a home banker at 5/6 with Betfred to bounce back from their Euro disappointment as they host a Kilmarnock team that could well find the going tough this season.