Not surprisingly, Ross County and Celtic have never contested a league fixture, so history will be made tomorrow when the reigning SPL champions arrive at Victoria Park.
It’s even less of a surprise to learn that Celtic kick off as bet365’s 1/2 favourites to claim three points and despite County’s encouraging start to life in the top flight, the draw is still offered at 7/2 by BetVictor.com – the same firm chalk 13/2 about an unlikely home victory. More probable is another triumph for the champions – Ladbrokes offer 5/1 against them securing a 2-0 win.
A much closer affair is anticipated at Tynecastle where Inverness are the visitors. Three of the last five meetings between Hearts and Caley Thistle have ended 1-1, while the other two were settled by a single goal. The Jambos start as Stan James’s 10/11 favourites, but given this fixture’s recent history, Inverness look a tad too frothy at 7/2 (Paddy Power); bet365 mark the draw at 13/5.
Motherwell failed to score against Kilmarnock in three attempts last season, although two matches ended goalless. Indeed, three of the duo’s last four encounters have ended all square, a statistic which adds appeal to BetVictor’s 23/10 marked against another stalemate.
Despite conceding a late goal at Motherwell last week, St Johnstone finally managed to register their opening goal of the season, while also claiming their first point of the new campaign. At the same time, tomorrow’s opponents Aberdeen were being held to a goalless draw by Ross County, a result which means the Dons are yet to score this term.
This distinct absence of goalscoring prowess is significant when punters consider that three of St Johnstone’s last five duels against Aberdeen have ended 0-0. So while the Saints are bet365’s 13/10 favourites to collect three points tomorrow, BetVictor’s 7/1 for it to finish goalless again is certainly worthy of further consideration, as is Stan James’s 12/5 posted against the match draw.
Closer examination of recent contests involving the pair show that only once in their last seven encounters have both sides managed to score, a statistic which adds appeal to Coral’s 5/4 odds chalked in favour of only one team finding the net this time. More precise folk may fancy the look of William Hill’s 11/5 marked against St Johnstone being the only one of the two teams to score a goal.
St Mirren’s duel with Hibs promises to be another close encounter. Only one of their last dozen meetings have been settled by more than one goal. Skybet chalk 10/3 against the Saints winning by a single goal as Stan James mark the draw at 12/5.
Finally, although Paddy Power offer a generous-looking 13/2 against a Dundee win on Sunday, the first Dundee league derby since 2004-05 is one from which United (8/15, BetVictor.com) should take three points. Few anticipate a goalfest however, hence the attraction of Ladbrokes’ 6/1 chalked against a 1-0 home win as Betfred post 9/1 in favour of a United registering a 2-0 victory. A side bet for the match to yield fewer than 2.5 goals looks a sensible option, with Boylesports posting 4/7 about such an outcome.