Friday, December 04, 2009

The SPL Weekend

Finally we come off the back of a European with a Scottish win under our belts. That it was ultimately futile stands is a fitting tribute to our misadventures abroad this season.

With Rangers and Celtic still trading places at the top both Hibs and Dundee United continue to move along very nicely. All they can do is keep the pressure up and hope that the Old Firm haven't yet got all their dropped points out of their systems.

Celtic v Aberdeen

Their last two victories have given Celtic their first back-to-back home wins of the season and Tony Mowbray will be keen to make it three tomorrow. He might have hoped for easier opposition than an Aberdeen side buoyed by last week's win over Rangers. If three home wins in a row is uncharted territory for Celtic this season then two Old Firm scalps in a row is the stuff of historical legend at Aberdeen. I don't think this one will be easy for the home side but I can see them coming through.

Dundee United v St Mirren

If unbeaten records are an indication of form then United and Hibs are currently the teams to beat in the SPL. St Mirren are currently bracketed with Hearts and St Johnstone as a team that knows they need a consistent run if the top six isn't to slide out of view. So much to play for here but you have to fancy United to keep their run going with a home win.

Falkirk v Rangers

After a couple of heartening results Falkirk hit a brick wall against Hibs last week. In a less than classic match they made a good fist of keeping Hibs at bay without really threatening. Rangers will be looking to bounce back from defeat at Pittodrie and regain the domestic invincibility that provided a much needed shield from their financial and European woes. Everything points to an away win. But, what the hell, I'll give Falkirk a second Old Firm point.

Hibernian v Motherwell

Hibs look to stretch their unbeaten run to 10 matches against a Motherwell team out for revenge for their home defeat earlier in the season. Motherwell keep on going and will be keen to narrow the gap between the top five. The last couple of weeks have seen Hibs playing a bit sloppily without conceding which is no bad trait for a side with pretensions of a successful campaign. I'm leaning towards a draw although no result would really surprise me.

St Johnstone v Kilmarnock

Last week's defeat against Hearts has left Kilmarnock looking over their shoulder and fearing a Falkirk resurgence. It seems almost every team is woefully short of consistency at the moment. St Johnstone at least can trade on the enthusiasm that comes with rejoining the top flight. Kilmarnock on the other hand must guard against fear entering their game: a lowly league position and an empty bank account do not make for a happy life. Home win.

Hamilton v Hearts (Sunday)

Will the real Hearts please stand up? A strong showing against Hibs that only won a point, a home capitulation against St Johnstone and then an away win against Kilmarnock. It's a strange mix. Hamilton have struggled as many predicted they would but have shown themselves to be capable of springing the odd surprise. I'm not convinced this will be a game to tell the grandchildren about. Draw.

What's the score: 30/71. As much good as a warm bucket of spit.