After ten-man Aberdeen edged out a shell-shocked Celtic last week, the question on everybody’s lips has been – do we now have a genuine Premiership title race?
According to the bookies the answer is no, bet365 classing the Hoops as 1/10 favourites to retain their crown and Paddy Power rating the Dons at 8/1 to upset the status quo but Derek McInnes will be happy to see his side remain as underdogs as it will help to keep expectations lower.
Indeed, the Aberdeen boss will have a job keeping his players grounded if their stunning run continues with a triumph at a very handy Hearts outfit, a result that would really frank the form of last week’s success against the champions.
The third-placed Jambos have won three out of three at Tynecastle, so they’re a formidable opponent but bookmakers lean tentatively towards the Dons, Skybet installing them as 13/8 jollies and Ladbrokes pricing the hosts at 9/5 to halt the league leaders’ momentum.
The ability of Robbie Neilson’s charges will ensure that a stalemate is popular at 5/2 with Stan James, after all, the Dons’ hundred percent record has to come to an end at some stage but this already looks like a different Aberdeen team to last season, in terms of both quality and mental strength so they should just about have the edge.
In attack meanwhile, Dons front man Adam Rooney is the joint leader in the scoring charts and as the Irishman is also the designated penalty taker for McInnes’s troops, it’s no surprise to see him heading the betting at 11/2 (BetVictor) to break the deadlock.
Aberdeen to beat Hearts by one – 14/5 (Stan James)