Saturday, December 18, 2010

SPL Today: Irresistible Force v Immovable Object

The winter chill continues, games tumbling by the wayside like Scotland's co-efficient points. Only two matches set to survive in the SPL. Thankfully one of them is the game of the day.

Hearts v Inverness

Scottish football's irresistible force meets our immovable object. Or something. Hearts have won six out of six. Inverness haven't lost away since Mary and Joseph revved up the donkey and began the long trek to Bethlehem.

Somebody's proud record has to give today. Unless it's a draw. Terry Butcher's Inverness have been the "surprise package" of the season and successive draws against the Old Firm suggest that it is no fluke that they find themselves in fourth place.

Hearts are suddenly involved in chasing down second place. A win today sees them go level with Celtic on points. Celtic will have played two games less but there is no denying that Jim Jefferies has built the SPL's form team.

Postponements elsewhere should ensure that this game gets the billing it deserves. Hopefully the players can deliver a memorable match.

Who to back? I've never denied being a coward. And a calendar year without an away defeat would be a fine achievement for Inverness. Hearts look strong but I'm going to sit on the fence: draw.

Kilmarnock v Hibs

Written off by many before the start of the season Mixu Paatelainen has enjoyed a solid start to his career at Kilmarnock. Predicted to be in a relegation battle they sit comfortably in sixth place, winning both plaudits and some big games.

Hibs remain inconsistent although there have been glimpses of improvement. Still a lot of work to do though.

Neither of these sides have played since 27 November so difficult to know how the players will react to their unscheduled winter break.

Hibs have been struggling to keep clean sheets and will find Kilmarnock's Alexei Eremenko and Conor Sammon difficult to cope with. So the away side will need to find some attacking intent of their own. This one is a home win for me.

Postponed matches so far:

Scottish Premier League
Aberdeen v Motherwell
Hamilton v Celtic
Rangers v St Mirren
St Johnstone v Dundee Utd

Scottish Football League Championship First Division
Queen of South v Morton
Raith v Cowdenbeath
Ross County v Dunfermline

Scottish Football League Championship Second Division
Ayr v Forfar
Brechin v East Fife
Dumbarton v Peterhead
Stenhousemuir v Livingston

Scottish Football League Championship Third Division
Albion v Annan
Berwick v Montrose
Clyde v Arbroath
Stranraer v East Stirling

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