“It was the usual story of picking up eleven strangers on the A9,” bemoaned Terry Butcher after his high-flying Inverness side came crashing back down to earth with a bang in a 4-0 hammering at St Johnstone last time out but the Caley Thistle boss can expect his players to be more recognisable this afternoon in the familiar surroundings of the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, where they take on Partick.
Urged to forget about their McDiarmid Park mauling, Butcher’s boys are odds-on at 5/6 with William Hill to get the better of the Jags and given their hundred percent record on their own patch, Inverness are hard to oppose.
The visitors, Paddy Power’s 7/2 outsiders, have actually performed better on the road than they have at Firhill this term but the hosts have yet to even concede a goal in four outings in front of their own supporters and as Alan Archibald’s men have managed to find the net just twice in their last four Premiership contests, Caley Thistle are decent value at 21/10 (Skybet) to prevail ‘to nil’.
Ladbrokes make them 7/1 to bag the only goal in the Highlands but Partick’s form at present leaves a lot to be desired so it could be a more comfortable afternoon for Butcher’s troops, who are 12/5 in bet365’s handicaps when kicking-off a goal in arrears and 19/2 at BetVictor to notch twice without reply.
Inverness have proven to be masters of the early goal this term, finding the net inside 20 minutes in every match they’ve scored in since the opening day. Punters could make a few quid from Stan James’s 2/1 about them leading at the end of each half then and Hills chalk Caley Thistle up at 8/5 to strike in the first half an hour.
The Premiership’s top scorer Billy McKay meanwhile, is the man to get onside in the first scorer betting, the hosts’ prolific front man BetVictor’s 4/1 jolly to break the deadlock.