Saturday, September 12, 2009

The SPL is back

Ah, SPL. How we've missed you. After the disappointment of a Scottish team letting us down so badly against foreign opposition let us turn our attention once more to watching Aberdeen, Falkirk, Motherwell and Hearts.

Will this weekend see the first break in the Old Firm armoury? Tony, Wattie. Wattie, Tony. They're as inseperable as Francie and Josie at the top of the pile just now. Who'll crack first? Will it happen this weekend? Probably not.

(Incidentally, should they not have shared the manager of the month award? If the criteria is winning all your games with an Old Firm team then surely they both achieved that in August? Although you might argue that Craig Levein and Jim Gannon had equally impressive undefeated records. Maybe the judges just couldn't agree on a welcome back present for Tony so gave him a cheap plastic award instead.)

Anyways, with no further ado, here are The Scottish Football Blog's predictions for SPL 09/10: Episode IV as nobody is probably calling it:

Motherwell v Rangers
"Loan Ranger" Jerome Rothen is also the "Lone Ranger" as the only player to sign up at Ibrox before the transfer window, as such windows are always destined to do, slammed shut. Fans will be keen to see the winger if he makes his debut in tomorrow's lunchtime kick off. He might find himself clashing with Motherwell newcomer Yassin Moutaouakil - in line for his own "day-boo" after joining up from Charlton. Both teams are defending unbeaten records. One of them will lose that tomorrow. I don't think it will be Rangers.

Celtic v Dundee United
Tony Mowbray will be ruing his bad Fortune as his striker of that ilk, Marc-Antoine, is ruled out for up to two months. As well as being another meeting of undefeated teams this is also a clash between manager of the month, Tony Mowbray, and player of the month, Danny Cadamarteri. United will be looking to face up to Celtic in a physical clash, the home side will be, as ever, playing to the philosophy Tony holds so dear. I can see United troubling Celtic this season. But I don't think they'll start tomorrow. Home win.

Hearts v Kilmarnock
If results go their way Hearts could literally leapfrog Kilmarnock into 8th place if they win this tomorrow. Neither side will be particularly happy with their starts but Hearts will really be looking to reverse a dismal run. If rumours are to be believed then both sides have had off field problems. At the moment Killie look like they've reacted slightly better. Time will tell. You would have backed Hearts in this one last year. Now I'm not so sure. I'll take a draw.

St Mirren v St Johnstone
Paisley celebrates all Saints day. These two seemed well matched at this stage. That could set the scene for a cracker or be the signal for 90 minutes of chess-like gloom. I'm going to back the new boys though. If nothing else Hamilton's dismal start to the season has confirmed the St Johnstone assertion that the media should be looking elsewhere for this year's whipping boys and that should have put a spring in Perth steps. So an away win.

Hamilton v Hibs
The Sunday kick off will at least give Easter Road new boy Liam Miller a chance to prove his fitness although I would doubt Yogi will want to throw him in. Hibs have started well, Hamilton have started very badly. There's more than one sage in Leith who'll tell you that means this is a stick on Hamilton win. Hamilton's revolving door has meant the team has been unsettled and the results have reflected that. I think it will be four defeats on the bounce come Sunday evening.

Falkirk v Aberdeen
Three games in and a goal difference of minus six. Falkirk would probably have expected to be sitting rock bottom right now. That they're not is all to do with Hamilton's woes rather than Falkirk's prowess. Mark McGhee has not had the start he would have wanted, coming over all Bob Cratchit off the pitch and suffering a couple of setbacks on it. But they've already put Hamilton to the sword and will fancy their chances of doing the same against Falkirk. And, by the by, a win and enough goals could see the Dandy Dons move to third if the weekend's fixtures have been kind to them.

Current prediction performance: 5/12 (One week missed)