Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tonight in the SPL

With every SPL team in action tonight this is probably as good a time as any to get the regular predictions going again. I’m also hoping to try a live blog tonight so I’ll be able to keep track of my failings as a pundit in real time. Check back at about 7.30 to see for yourself.

In the meantime:

Celtic v Hearts

That man of many clubs – and lover of most of them – Robbie Keane makes his home debut at his temporary abode. Celtic fans relishing that prospect will also find succour in facing a Hearts team in something of a form crash. Are the new Celtic ready to mount a credible challenge? Possibly, possibly not. But they should still beat Hearts tonight.

Dundee United v Hamilton

Their last two league games suggest United are aiming for an unlikely reinvention as the SPL’s high scoring draw specialists. Sadly that needs two free scoring teams and Hamilton have managed a paltry 16 this season. The bottom club need to start turning the tide. Can’t see them doing it tonight though. Home win.

Falkirk v Kilmarnock

A cold February night brings3 the prospect of an intriguing relegation battle. Having dragged themselves from the foot of the table by beatng Aberdeen, Falkirk will be looking to continue their modest ascent against basement buddies Kilmarnock themselves still on a high after scalping Celtic last week. No result would surprise me tonight but I’m going to back the away win.

Hibernian v Aberdeen

Not much is going wrong for John Hughes right now. Last week he was calmly sweeping Alan Gow off his feet and away from Aberdeen’s clutches before watching his team calmly dispatch of Montrose as Mark McGhee watched his draw with Raith. So a tale of two managers at Easter Road tonight. Hibs at their best should win but has Hughes found the gift of consistency? Probably not but it’s also doubtful if Aberdeen will be up to much so a home win it is.

Motherwell v Rangers (ESPN)

The last time these two side met Rangers won 6-1. At that point Motherwell were in an eight game sequence without a win that included five defeats on the bounce. The youthful vigour of Craig Brown has steadied the ship since then and it’s unlikely they’ll succumb so easily tonight. Rangers simply grind on regardless weathering whatever storms they face. Brown and Archie Knox would relish getting one over Walter Smith though so I’ll back them to get a draw tonight.

St Mirren v St Johnstone

A battle of cup hangovers? St Mirren have made a final and been held to a draw by Rangers in the past few days. St Johnstone were left fuming at officialdom as they lost a close Scottish Cup game with United on Saturday. So St Mirren have momentum and St Johnstone have wounded pride. The right recipe for a scoring draw.

The story so far: Regular readers may have noticed that the weekly SPL predictions have fallen by the wayside a bit recently. I offer no excuse (well, actually, if you’d seen the state of me during what turned into a month of birthday celebration you would have accepted that as excuse enough) but hopefully we’ll get back to normal now.

In the meantime I’ve worked out my performance on the predictions I have made so far. I’ve not included rescheduled fixtures because, frankly, life is too short. Anyway the total is a paltry 39 correct predictions from 99 completed fixtures.

Let’s generously round that up to a 40% success rate. All a bit Colin Nish as the new rhyming slang of Leith would probably have it.