Friday, January 4, 2008

Scotland Weekend Preview

Rangers-Dundee United With Celtic off this weekend, this is the lone match with top of the table implications. Simply put, if Rangers (41 points) win, they wrest the top spot away from Celtic, lose or draw and they lose one of their games in hand. Though United (32 points) is playing well, coming off of a 4-1 win against Hearts midweek, the Terrors have an awfully long injury list. United is also without first choice keeper Lukasz Zaluska. Rangers, meanwhile, have won 6 of 7. It must be said, though, that given the competition in the SPL, this is not unusual. Still, look for Rangers to win comfortably at Ibrox against a United team still surly that their request to postpone a midweek game was denied.
Rangers 3-0

Falkirk-Aberdeen Another Top 6 clash. Both teams are undefeated in 5 games in all competitions. Aberdeen's (32 points) road form has been mixed at best this season, and it will probably trip them up here. Falkirk (31 points) is healthy, though they are missing their keeper through suspension. Aberdeen is showing the aftereffects of a busy 2007 and is missing quite a few regulars.
Falkirk 2-1

Hearts-Kilmarnock If you are lucky, you will miss even a recap of this game. Hearts (20 points) have the worst form of any SPL club at this time. The Jambos have not won a match since October 6 meaning that if they fail to take all three points it will have been 3 full months since they have done so. Kilmarnock (21 points) never inspires me. Their last win was only slightly more recent than Hearts. In fact, it was against Hearts--a 3-1 win on October 27. Look for a lifeless draw.
Draw 0-0

Inverness CT-Gretna ICT (28 points) are without their captain, who is serving a three match ban. It should not matter against Gretna (10 points), who would have been better sponsored by a submarine company than Subway, given the way they have sunk to great depths this year. Look for the furthest away road test (245 miles) to not be much of a test at all for the Caley Thistle boys.
ICT 4-2

St Mirren-Hibernian Another less-than-appetizing encounter. St Mirren (19 points) is second from bottom and destined to stay there. They could, however, take all three points against a Hibs (28 points) squad which has not own in seven. My prediction for this match, other than the score, is that St Mirren Park (capacity 15410) will have 4-5000 punters for this one.
Draw 2-2

Celtic (43 points) and Motherwell (35 points) have the weekend off.

Division Two sees a top of the table clash as Raith Rovers (38 points) takes on Ross County (37 points). I have no take on that one, though it will be more entertaining than the Hearts-Kilmarnock match.


Ian said...


Ian Rose said...

Rangers need to be taking all points right now, especially with Celtic shoring up their defense with Hinkel. They should be a bit more solid than they were in December, and it looks like as interesting a title race as it ever is in the SPL, meaning at least no one Old Firm side has run with it yet.