As this column pointed out a couple of weeks ago when St Johnstone hosted Dundee at McDiarmid Park, fixtures between the two are invariably close affairs.
Following the Saints’ 1-0 win, it means that four of the pair’s last nine meetings have ended 1-0 and another four have finished with honours even. Given that they’re separated by just one place in the Premiership table, Stan James’s 5/2 for it to end all-square again on Saturday looks a decent bet.
In almost any other season, a team registering ten away victories and suffering just four defeats would be crowned champions, but while the title will not be heading to Pittodrie, Aberdeen should head home with three points following their Highland derby duel with Inverness. Skybet rightly install the Dons as their 7/5 jollies, though it’s worth noting that Inverness have lost only twice at home all term – they’re 2/1 (Ladbrokes) to win; Winner.com chalk 13/5 against the stalemate.
A stalemate seems unlikely when Ross host Partick, however. County are yet to register a home draw, a trend which seems likely to continue on Saturday when Partick are their guests. Ross can be backed at 13/10 (Betway) to secure maximum points, while the Jags, who have lost only one of their last five contests following a miserable run of defeats, are available at 21/10 with Paddy Power.
Kilmarnock should have little difficulty brushing aside St Mirren’s challenge when the pair meet at Love Street. St Mirren have lost five consecutive league matches during which they have failed to score – little wonder that Killie kick off as William Hill’s 13/8 favourites, while punters can back them at 10/3 (bet365) to win without conceding.
While Dundee United will be no pushovers, it’s difficult to see Celtic failing to secure three points when the sides meet on Sunday. United (5/1, Stan James) were the last team to beat Celtic in the league when they won 2-1 at Tannadice just before Christmas, but the Hoops’ 8/15 price (BetVictor.com) appears justified.
Dundee and St Johnstone to draw – 5/2 (Stan James)
Double on Aberdeen and Ross County – 9/2 (BetVictor)
Kilmarnock to beat St Mirren ‘to nil’ – 10/3 (bet365)
Draw/Celtic in HT/FT betting – 5/1 (Stan James)