Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another weekend of Scottish Premiership action.
Preparations have been far from ideal for Neil Lennon as it looks likely he’ll have to do without Ryan Christie, Odsonne Edouard, Nir Bitton and Hatem El Hamed due to Covid-19 related issues. James Forrest will also miss out through injury, meaning we will all get to judge the strength of this Celtic squad. After their goalscoring exploits as substitutes in the last game against St Johnstone, Leigh Griffiths and Patryk Klimala may well feature more prominently this weekend.
Steven Gerrard has his own concerns regarding his starting XI, with the focus yet again on Alfredo Morelos, his main striker who had his head turned by some interest during the transfer window, but is still Rangers’ best hope of a consistent goalscorer. I’m tipping goals for both sides given the amount of attacking options the two clubs have from middle to front.
Great to see these two sides meeting again after an absence of four years due to United being in the Championship. Eleven points from 10 games is just about acceptable for Micky Mellon, but every point is hard to come by in the Premiership and this will be no different. Marc McNulty has joined United on loan from Reading for the season and could develop a decent partnership with Lawrence Shankland. Aberdeen have a greater winning mentality in the top flight, with Lewis Ferguson a tremendous goal threat from midfield, he’s already notched five goals this season.
Hamilton are the only team without a home win in the top flight so far this season and they meet a St Johnstone side who struggle for league goals, but managed a whopping seven in the League Cup against Brechin City last weekend! Maybe Stevie May will gain some confidence from that game after netting a hat-trick. This contest sees the completion of the first round of games between all sides and both will have to improve their tally of just seven points to ensure safety.
Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer is not happy with Livingston at all following his request to have the game postponed for a few days. Killie’s squad only got back from self-isolation in the midweek defeat to Dunfermline and their preparation for this game has been heavily diminished. Losing 3-0 at home to Dunfermline with a majority of young players won’t have helped his mood either. Former Arsenal and Bristol City man Jay Emmanuel-Thomas will be looking to make his mark in West Lothian.
Jack Ross takes his squad to the Highlands this weekend with the benefit of both Paul Hanlon and Ryan Porteous coming off the back of being involved with the international team, which will give the club as a whole a huge boost. Kevin Nisbet may be next to take the eye of Stevie Clarke given his scoring exploits, the current top scorer in the Premiership. Stuart Kettlewell managed to keep a hold of Ross Stewart in the transfer window and his goals and work-rate are essential if County are to stay clear of relegation trouble.
Yet again St Mirren have been hit with Covid-19 issues ahead of this game with two unnamed players testing positive for the virus and one other forced to self-isolate, meaning all three are ruled out. Saints have fallen to the bottom of the table after a promising start to the campaign and it doesn’t get any easier against a Motherwell side beginning to find their form. Declan Gallagher and Stephen O’Donnell will both be on a high after their involvement in some positive results for the national side and Trevor Carson also gave a good account of himself in Northern Ireland’s 1-0 loss to Norway.
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