Five points clear with a game in hand, Celtic may have to wait until late on Boxing Day to restore their numerical advantage over the SPL’s chasing pack, but at 2/7 (William Hill) to overhaul bottom club Dundee, it’s reasonable to assume that Neil Lennon’s men will register their seventh away win of the campaign by 9.30pm on Wednesday.
Dundee have not beaten Celtic in the SPL since May 2001 and are still odds-against (6/5, bet365) to win when handed a two goal start. As they’ve scored just seven home goals this season, that could be the nearest they get to finding the net – hence the obvious appeal of Paddy Power’s 5/6 for the Hoops to retain a clean sheet and 888Sport’s 11/10 for them to win ‘to nil’.
Proceedings begin at noon at Tannadice when Dundee United welcome St Johnstone. The pair drew 0-0 in September and another goalless draw is rated a 10/1 shot by Ladbrokes. More likely is a home win – United have won six and drawn five of their last 11 league matches against St Johnstone, hence the appeal of BetVictor’s 6/5 for them to win again; Stan James offers 13/2 about a 1-0 home success.
Hibs too should justify their status as Skybet’s 5/6 favourites when they host Ross County, although the duel involving Inverness and St Mirren promises to be considerably closer. The pair drew 2-2 at Love Street in August, so extending a record which has seen their last 11 meetings either finish level or settled by a single goal. Inverness are 5/6 (Stan James) to win and 3/1 (bet365) to secure victory by one goal.
Three of the last five meetings of Kilmarnock and Hearts have also finished in stalemate and Paddy Power rate the chances of the points being shared again at 23/10. BetVictor.com post 15/4 about it ending as a score draw and Ladbrokes chalk 6/1 against it finishing one apiece.
Finally, Motherwell and Aberdeen will meet for the fourth time this season when they contest their second league duel of the campaign, this time at Fir Park.
Motherwell kick off as Stan James’s 5/4 jollies, while bet365 chalk 12/5 about another draw (the pair drew 3-3 at Pittodrie earlier in the season). Though the Dons beat St Johnstone 2-0 last Saturday, this is a fixture from which Motherwell would expect to take maximum points. Punters who concur can get 6/1 (BetVictor.com) about a 1-0 home win and 8/1 (Skybet) against a 2-1 Motherwell victory.