If the SPL was decided on away matches only, Celtic wouldn’t be top of the heap given that they’ve won fewer than half of their fixtures on the road this term, a record worse than that of Motherwell. In fact, the Hoops are without a league victory in five on their travels and that’s probably going to be enough to encourage one or two punters to pile in to Paddy Power’s 4/1 underdogs Ross County ahead of the pair’s Dingwall ding-dong this afternoon.
The Staggies conquered Neil Lennon’s troops in their last Victoria Park meeting to boot, overturning a 2-0 deficit to register a 3-2 success less than two months ago and they’ll rightly be confident of carding a repeat, especially as the Hoops boss has admitted that Fraser Forster, Emilio Izaguirre, Charlie Mulgrew and forward duo Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras will be rested for the clash, with the cup final and hectic European schedule in mind.
The under-strength champions nevertheless remain odds-on favourites for the points at 8/11 via BetVictor but in the circumstances, with the title wrapped up for the visitors and the hosts still in pursuit of third spot, that’s a price I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole.
More tempting is bet365’s 5/4 posted against the Staggies in the handicaps, where they’re given a goal start or alternatively Stan James price the home side at 5/2 in the ‘draw-no-bet’ market, for punters a bit reluctant to go the whole hog and back a victory for Derek Adams’s boys.
There have been goals galore in recent Hoops matches and as the pair produced five between them last time around, today’s showdown shouldn’t be short on goalmouth action. Skybet go 4/5 about the two sharing at least three but a case can be made for a tally of four or more at 23/10 (BetVictor).
Meanwhile, for the ambitious, Stan James price those goals at 50/1 to be shared 3-1 in favour of Ross County, replicating Motherwell’s victory over Celtic a week ago but Staggies backers should beware because the best bet to get on the scoresheet is returning Hoops midfielder Kris Commons; 7/4 to notch at any stage and 6/1 to break the deadlock, both at bet365.