By Rory West
As we all gather ourselves after another poor Scotland result, the Premiership returns this weekend ensuring brighter spirits about the football for some.
Kilmarnock vs Celtic
This fixture opens this weekend’s round of fixtures and is live on BT Sport. Celtic will obviously go into this one high on confidence as they look to continue their unbeaten run in the league so far.
Rugby Park is a ground with mixed emotions for Celtic as there have been a few occasions when the title has been either won or lost there. However going by the previous scoreline between the two sides Celtic shouldn’t have much to worry about as they trounced Killie 6-1 at Celtic Park, albeit conceding to an absolute wonder goal from Killie striker Souleymane Coulibaly.
On a personal note I can’t see this game going any other win than a Celtic victory, I’m predicting 2-0 to Celtic.
Inverness Caley vs Aberdeen
This one will sure to be a tasty encounter as Caley go into it unbeaten in their last four games against Aberdeen.
This season’s previous encounter between the two finished in a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie with Caley salvaging a point through an early goal of the season contender from Iain Vigurs.
Aberdeen go into this one on the back of a well fought victory away to Partick where as Caley’s last result was a 3-0 defeat at Celtic Park, where they did hold their own for periods of that game.
This one will be tight but I’m going for an Aberdeen win with 2-1.
Motherwell vs Partick Thistle
A place in the top six – other results aside – is up for grabs for both teams at Fir Park with both sides coming into this fixture off the back of defeats.
1-1 was the score the last time these two sides met at Firhill and in all honesty I can’t see the scoreline being too far off that this time around. Partick’s display against Aberdeen was dogged and they were only beaten by a brilliant goal. Motherwell will also feel aggrieved about their last result as at 0-0 against Dundee they had a goal not given when the ball had clearly crossed the line, potentially setting the match up differently.
I’m predicting a Partick win here but again it’s going to be close, 1-0 to Thistle.
Rangers vs Dundee
The first game for Rangers following the departure of Joey Barton, how will that affect them? To me it will benefit them as the distraction is gone and they will be able to get their heads down and concentrate on their football.
This season’s earlier encounter at Dens saw Rangers take all three points with a 2-1 victory. The sides also met at Ibrox last season in the Scottish Cup where Rangers embarrassed Dundee running out 4-0 winners. This time I feel will be slightly different however a similar result.
Dundee come into this one off the back of two consecutive victories, they haven’t won three games in a row in the league since 2014 and I don’t see them ending that record. A 2-0 Rangers win for me.
St Johnstone vs Ross County
This one with no disrespect will not be one for the neutrals, saying that I hope I’m proved wrong. St Johnstone have not been beaten by County in their last five league meetings, winning three.
When these sides already met this season Saints ran out 2-0 victors and a similar scoreline will be the outcome I feel for this one. Both sides come into it off the back of respectable draws against Hearts and Rangers, respectively.
I see the outcome for this one being a 3-1 St Johnstone victory.
Hamilton vs Hearts
The Monday night wars continue as Hearts are welcomed to New Douglas Park. Again these two sides come into this one off the back of draws.
This fixture is a tough one to call as Hamilton have already proved they are difficult to play against taking points of both Rangers and Aberdeen already this season. Hearts have also got a frailty for playing on astro truf surfaces.
Despite that I can see Hearts taking all three points in a tight but exciting game, I’m going 4-2 Hearts.
Those are this weekend’s fixtures and how I see them going. I hope you’ve enjoyed and whatever game you go to this game, enjoy that just a wee bit more.
By Rory West