Home Scottish Premiership Question time for lacklustre Bhoys
Question time for lacklustre Bhoys

Question time for lacklustre Bhoys

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Brendan Rodgers and Celtic go into Saturday’s home game with Aberdeen under a degree of pressure, following a series of lacklustre performances.

The Hoops have drawn at St Mirren and lost to Kilmarnock in the league, either side of an uninspiring Europa League win over Rosenborg that needed a late intervention from Leigh Griffiths to settle things.

It was the same again in midweek as the in-form striker made it three goals in three games by winning their Betfred Cup quarter-final at St Johnstone late in the piece.

Celtic – Aberdeen to draw @ 4/1

It is hard to be confident in the Dons – they’ve lost their six games against Celtic. But they’ll rarely get a better chance to pick something up in Glasgow.

The champions were one-dimensional against St Johnstone in midweek, often going laterally across the pitch and, essentially, making things easy for their hosts to defend in numbers.

It hasn’t been a vintage start for Derek McInnes’ team this term but Aberdeen have lost only one of their last 11 matches. There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Aberdeen’s last 13 games, while Celtic have kept clean sheets in 11 of their last 14 games at Parkhead.

The last four meetings of these teams see Celtic ahead by a 9-0 aggregate scoreline. But if they play like they have done in recent weeks, they may struggle here.

There’s pressure on Brendan Rodgers, for the first time as Celtic boss, and odds of 4/1 seem too big on the draw.

Kilmarnock to beat Motherwell @ 11/10

Steve Clarke’s team showed their character with a come-from-behind win over champions Celtic last weekend at Rugby Park and they are strong fancied to supplement that with three points against Motherwell.

A victory over basement club Dundee represents Motherwell’s only win of the season thus far, while they’ve failed to replicate the spirit and determination of their 3-3 draw with Rangers in other games. Outside of those two games, the Steelmen have failed to score in all four league games.

Killie meanwhile are quietly building on Clarke’s progressive first season in Ayrshire. The win over Celtic was their third in six games, with their defeats coming against confident rivals in Hearts and Hibs.

Killie have won the previous two meetings of these sides and can play on Motherwell’s lack of confidence to make it three-in-a-row.

Rangers and Hearts to win @ 27/20

Regardless of how Celtic and Aberdeen ends up, both Rangers and league leaders Hearts will have strong hopes of registering victories over Livingston and St Johnstone respectively.

Steven Gerrard’s side have found scoring goals relatively easy in recent times. They’ll have that form tested against a Livingston team that has conceded just four times in six games and are winners in three of their last four, but the Light Blues can post another success on Sunday.

Hearts can make the most of home advantage against St Johnstone, with the Perth side having been on the end of a heavy loss against Rangers last weekend before ultimately getting nothing for a hard-working effort against Celtic in midweek. Three games in six days might take a toll on Tommy Wright’s side at Tynecastle.

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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.