Home Sports Football Scottish Premier League Back Killie instinct at Rugby Park
Back Killie instinct at Rugby Park

Back Killie instinct at Rugby Park

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Regular readers of this Scottish Premiership preview will know that the focus has tended to be on form teams, given that the table reflects a relatively balanced outlook behind Celtic.

From a betting perspective, it tends to pay to follow teams when they are hot. St Johnstone and Hibs, earlier in the season, were prime examples and now it is the turn of Kilmarnock.

Steve Clarke’s impact on the Rugby Park club has been a positive one, so much so that Killie are behind only Celtic and Rangers in the six-game form table, with 11 points taken from 18 available.

The most recent of those came in midweek as Clarke’s team showed a willingness to battle back from the dead away at Ross County, where they trailed 2-0 at the break before Eamonn Brophy and Kris Boyd earned a share of the spoils.

That is exactly the sort of spirit Clarke will want to foster in his dressing room and, buoyed by that decent point, they are tipped at 29/20 to overcome Motherwell on Saturday.

The Steelmen have a decent record against Kilmarnock, winning all three clashes so far in 2017, but they make little appeal here.

Motherwell have been losing at both half-time and full-time in five of their last seven games, and the signs are that their triple header with Celtic has left a mark.

They trailed 3-0 at Partick Thistle before the half-hour mark on Wednesday and may find it will be another tough away-day on Saturday in Ayrshire. On the formbook, this looks a good chance for Killie in their quest to push towards the top-six.

Hibs head for Pittodrie in Saturday’s early game, with Neil Lennon’s team probably still wondering how they managed to come out of Wednesday’s tussle with Rangers at Easter Road pointless.

It was a second brave display in four days from Hibs, after they fought back from two down on Sunday to come within inches of ending Celtic’s domestic bliss in a rip-roaring 2-2 draw.

Derek McInnes and the Dons will be hoping a third big game in six days takes its toll on the Hibees, but it is hard to back an Aberdeen side that has lost three from four on home soil lately.

Equally, Hibs have won four and drawn two from their last six on the road. This is too close to call and, as with so many lunchtime games, there’ll likely be little in it, so the draw at 23/10 is the selection.

Precious little unites Glasgow’s big two, but perhaps some pre-Christmas profit can help relations.

Rangers (4/11) should account for goal-shy St Johnstone at Ibrox on Saturday while Celtic (20/57) have outscored Hearts by 15-1 in four 2017 meetings so far and should come away from Tynecastle on Sunday with three points.

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Enda McElhinney Our racing expert, Enda studies cards in both England and Ireland on a daily basis and knows all the details you need to know when trying to select a winner. He is also a regular football writer and has strong knowledge of the Scottish game, with golf another specialised sport on his CV.