Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another weekend of Scottish Premiership action.
How will new United manager Micky Mellon approach this contest against the Scottish champions? Kilmarnock were dogged and determined in getting their point at Rugby Park two weeks ago and I wonder how open his team will be, even on their own turf?
August 22, 2020, 5:00pm
Celtic got back to winning ways in the Champions League qualifiers with a six-goal win against a very poor KR Reykjavik side with Mohamed Elyounoussi hitting top form. In a strong group of forwards, Odsonne Edouard is still the main man despite the £4.5m signing of Albian Ajeti from West Ham.
St Johnstone were lacklustre against a depleted Aberdeen side at home on Thursday night and threw away the chance of building on their excellent 2-1 away win at Kilmarnock last weekend. I doubt Hibs will be as defensive as Aberdeen so it’s a chance for Michael O’Halloran and Callum Hendry to be more of a threat. Hibs are attack-minded with Martin Boyle, Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge in fine form and sharing the goals.
August 23, 2020, 4:00pm
I thought Motherwell played well and were unlucky not to come away with their first win of the season last weekend at Easter Road against Hibs. Expectations are high at Fir Park for another season in the upper half of the top six but it’s never easy to get all three points in a Lanarkshire derby.
Jordan White and Calum Lang are beginning to find their better form and I can see a home win here against a Hamilton side who’ve lost their opening three games, two of those being at home.
If Rangers dominate possession as much as they did against Livingston last weekend, they will surely score at least once with a bit more care to their end product. Team selection will always be interesting now that Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten are challenging Alfredo Morelos for a place in the starting XI.
Against defensive sides, more has to be expected of Ianis Hagi and Ryan Kent. Will Rangers sell Kent? An opening bid from Leeds United has been turned down, but I imagine they’ll come in again to test Rangers’ resolve.
Kilmarnock were very impressive in their defensive display against Celtic recently and that level of concentration will be required again at Ibrox.
It’s been a very encouraging start to the season for Jim Goodwin’s men. Narrow victories have been the order of the day against Livingston and Hamilton with Richard Tait, Joe Shaughnessy and Marcus Fraser all helping to give them a stronger look defensively. This will be another close call with Ross County gathering early points to suggest a determination on their part not to be involved in the bottom two.
It was a tremendous win for Aberdeen against St Johnstone to register their first points of the season but a completely unrecognisable starting XI from Derek McInnes given his much-reduced options.
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