Friday, December 23, 2011


Inverness CT and Aberdeen meet in the "North East" derby game, a fixture traditionally dominated by the visitors, the Dons come into the match on the back of two wins and with it a degree of mid table safety, but will surely be looking for the hat-trick, ahead of a pair of tough looking New Year fixtures. They are 7-2-1 in their last ten visits, matches which have averaged 2.7 goals, with the last six all producing at least two and this one seems likely to follow suit, with ICT being involved in some recent high scoring encounters. They have scored in 7 of their last 8, only coming up short against Celtic in a match where they were holding their own, before a red card, meant they had to play the final 55 + minutes with ten men. Terry Butcher's side have not had much luck or decisions go their way ( see the Rangers write up below), but are prepared to take the game to opponents and their last four and 6 from 7, have all gone "over". They seem unlikely to sit back today, they are without a key defensive player in Chris Hogg and are already without an option or two at the back, they have not kept a cleansheet in 21 starts and will probably need two goals to get a result this afternoon. Aberdeen have just one clean sheet themselves in nine starts and that came against a poor Hibs side, who had the better of the game and chances. Weather should not be a concern, goals for me and the odds look good. "Over" 2.5 goals 2.09 asian line.

St Mirren and Glasgow Rangers meet in the televised fixture and this seems sure to be a tough, close, hard fough affair. Saints nine home games have only seen 18 goals in total and three of their four losses, have come by the miminum margin. Rangers will be ultra keen to win this and go into Wednesday's Old Firm derby holding at least the four point advantage over Celtic they currently enjoy. They will also be looking to conserve as much energy as possible and I do not see them needlessly chasing a second goal if and when they take the lead. Rangers have won on eight of their last ten visits here, with five also coming by the single goal margin and that is what I think is the likely outcome again today. Both teams have lost their way a little recently and any wins that have come the way of the league leaders, have been hard earned, like their 2-1 win over ICT at Ibrox last time out, when the visitors took the game to Rangers laying siege to the home goal in the second half and being denied two big penalty shouts.

Three of Rangers last five victories have come by a single goal, in their last 12 starts they have only scored more than two goals on one one occasion and they have conceded in six of their last nine starts, fixtures which came against teams with an average league placing of 8th ( in a 12 team league). They are trying to address this lack of goals and are set to get busy in the transfer window. Saints will be without Jim Goodwin and Lee Mairs today, which are big losses, but they have a couple of players, especially youngster Kenny McLean who will be looking to impress ahead of the window, infront of the tv cameras and they will be very motivated today. The two clubs played out a 1-1 draw at Ibrox two months ago and this should again be close, my suggestion would be Rangers to win by one goal @ circa 3.50.

Good Luck.

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