Rangers to run away with it, Aberdeen back on winning trail, Celtic fear - The Scotsman's Premiership predictions
It’s the fourth game-week of the cinch Premiership and we’ve asked our resident tipster to predict what is going to happen at all six matches ...
Hibs v Rangers, Saturday, 12.30pm
This is likely to be a difficult proposition for Hibs, who came a cropper at Livingston last weekend. Lee Johnson still has a lengthy injury list and with his team showing inconsistencies at this early stage, the strength of Rangers – especially in midfield – will make it a challenge for them to prevail. While the Ibrox side has next week’s pivotal Champions League play-off second leg against PSV to contend with, Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men are unlikely to take their eye off the ball. Striker Antonio Colak is in good form and will be keen to add to his goal tally. Prediction: Hibs 0-3 Rangers.
Dundee United v St Mirren, Saturday, 3pm
Last week was very galling for United, losing embarrassingly to AZ Alkmaar and then 4-1 to Hearts. A full week’s training and the return to full fitness of Dylan Levitt will make a big difference. Jack Ross’ Hibs team were adept at bouncing back from adversity and even though St Mirren got off the mark last week, United should have enough to rediscover the winning trail and lift the gloom around Tannadice. Prediction: Dundee United 2-1 St Mirren.
Motherwell v Livingston, Saturday, 3pm
Both Motherwell and Livingston posted excellent results last weekend in defeating Aberdeen and Hibs respectively. Steven Hammell can be pleased with the way life as Fir Park boss has started, but David Martindale’s Lions – especially with Joel Nouble in good form – are more than capable of taking something from Lanarkshire. This match looks booked for a draw. Prediction: Motherwell 1-1 Livingston.
Ross County v Kilmarnock, Saturday, 3pm
Derek McInnes’ Kilmarnock were handed a wretched start to the season, facing Dundee United, Rangers in Celtic in their first three matches, and a trip to wounded Ross County is not an easy assignment either. County have lost all three matches, but manager Malky Mackay is not pressing the panic button at all and showed moments of promise against Hearts and Celtic. The Staggies might just pinch this. Prediction: Ross County 1-0 Kilmarnock.
St Johnstone v Aberdeen, Saturday, 3pm
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin will demand a reaction from his team after last weekend’s surprise defeat by Motherwell. While the Dons are a work in progress after 12 new arrivals this summer, three points from McDiarmid Park are viewed as a must if European aspirations are to be met. St Johnstone were soundly beaten by Rangers last week and Callum Davidson will welcome being back in Perth, but Aberdeen’s forward line, spearheaded by Bojan Miovski, make them favourites to take the spoils here. Prediction: St Johnstone 0-2 Aberdeen.
Celtic v Hearts, Sunday, 3pm
Hearts will arrive in Glasgow (a) jaded from Thursday night’s exertions in Zurich and (b) having one eye on the return match on Thursday at Tynecastle. Robbie Neilson does not have defender Craig Halkett to call upon and may rotate his squad. Given Celtic’s free week and the form of Jota, it has the ingredients of an uncomfortable afternoon for Hearts in Glasgow. Celtic look very likely to win, given the circumstances. Prediction: Celtic 3-1 Hearts.