Saturday, August 15, 2009

SPL fixtures (and predictions)

The SPL returns today. I know this momentous moment in the nation's cultural and sporting life is being celebrated. Up and down the country flags are being raised as an entire population quivers with anticipation of finding out, in about 10 months, which one of two evil empires will win the league.

Anyway. Here goes:

Aberdeen v Celtic
The lunchtime curtain raiser. As the ESPN anchor will no doubt christen this one. Aberdeen are in funk of financial and European inadequacy. Celtic have one eye on Arsenal. Celtic will win.

Hibernian v St Mirren
The stability of Gus McPherson versus yet another new broom sweeping the stench of under achievement out of Easter Road. Funnily enough this is a match up of two of the teams who should be better placed to see off the Setanta shortfall. That won't matter tomorrow. Hibs have been goal shy but look firmer at the back. For all their apparent rediscovered flowing football though the jury's out on their ability to handle physicality. With that in mind St Mirren should have a game plan. Draw.

Kilmarnock v Hamilton
How will Hamilton handle some key departures. How will Kilmarnock cope with a pre season of such financial turbulence that a strike was almost called by suddenly militant players? Today won't answer those questions unfortunately. Hamilton to win.

Rangers v Falkirk
Much anticipation at Ibrox as Walter Smith gets set to unveil his radically overhauled squad. Oh, right then. Eddie May has given the Bairns a face lift. He'll still lose today though.

St Johnstone v Motherwell
The new boys hoist their First Division flag against Jim Gannon's new look Motherwell. St Johnstone to kick off with a close home win.

Dundee Utd v Hearts (Monday)
The first skirmish in the fight for third? Possibly. Not an easy game to hit the ground running. Draw.

So there we have it. I'm not a great fan of the first day of the season. Always feels like a bit of a let down as the players try to shrug off the torpor of endless friendlies. So today (and Monday) will probably be low on thrills.

To keep up with the latest action the BBC's SPL page has had a makeover during the off season (and the day one table always makes pleasant reading for Aberdeen fans - at least until 4.48pm).

No blogging in the afternoon from me. But if I can drag myself away from the rain soaked barbecue I'll probably try and tweet. Enjoy.