More than a fifth of Scotland’s top flight season will have been completed by the end of this weekend. Already, much of the early jockeying for league position feels less frenetic as it’s no longer possible to jump half a dozen places on the back of a victory, while the season’s likely winners and losers are becoming slightly easier to identify.
No-one expected Hamilton to be clear at the top of the table in mid-October and, as they play on Friday, it’s possible that the team everyone anticipated leading the pack, Celtic, could be nine points adrift of the Accies by the time they kick off against Ross County at lunchtime. Celtic beat Ross 4-1 at Victoria Park last term and are 3/10 (Betway) to register three points this afternoon. Ross, by contrast, kick off as William Hill’s 10/1 outsiders and at 4/5 (Winner.com) to win when handed a two-goal start.
Stan James had little hesitation installing Dundee United as their 4/5 favourites to overhaul Partick (4/1, Skybet), particularly as they beat Thistle 4-1 in the corresponding fixture last term. However, BetVictor.com are less sure about Motherwell (7/5) who host Dundee (19/10, Paddy Power) at Fir Park. The Steelmen have managed only one goal at home this term (after racking them up at the rate of more than two per game last season) and a goalless draw is priced at 9/1 by Ladbrokes.
St Johnstone boast an excellent record against Kilmarnock, winning seven and drawing four of the pair’s last eleven contests. Bet365 price the Saints at 5/4 to repeat last season’s success (when they won 3-1), whereas Killie are 13/5 (Betway) to claim three points.
Finally, the team with the Premiership’s worst home record, St Mirren (played 4, lost 4) host Inverness at Love Street, a contest they’re 12/5 (bet365) to win. Inverness won two of the pair’s three duels last term and, as the other two were drawn, the stalemate, priced at 12/5 by Stan James, appears more likely than a home win. BetVictor.com price the visitors as their 13/10 favourites, a status with which it’s difficult to argue; a 1-0 away win is offered at 7/1 by Skybet.