Andy Walker's Scottish Premiership predictions
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Football Expert & Columnist
Friday 19 February 2021 16:52, UK
Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another round of Scottish Premiership action.
Aberdeen vs Kilmarnock – Saturday, 3pm
It’s painful for every Aberdeen supporter to see their team go six games now without a goal, meaning they are falling behind Hibs in the race to finish third in the Premiership.
However, there were signs in their narrow 1-0 loss to Celtic on Wednesday that Florian Kamberi and Fraser Hornby can begin to form a decent partnership up front.
Kamberi, in particular, offers a little bit of imagination and if he gets the service, he can get the Dons back to winning ways. It’s another tough game for Kilmarnock’s new boss Tommy Wright.
On the back of the narrow defeat to Rangers at Ibrox last weekend, he may feel as if this is the right time to play Aberdeen.
But they too have struggled to find a regular goalscorer and in losing their last seven games, they have failed to score in six of them. The sooner he can get Kyle Lafferty fit and threatening to score, the better for every Kilmarnock supporter.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-0
- Scottish Premiership table | Fixtures | Results
- Kilmarnock appoint Tommy Wright as Alex Dyer replacement
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Hibs vs Hamilton – Saturday, 3pm
Hibs are now four points in front of Aberdeen with a game in hand and favourites to finish third in the table.
European football is so important to the development of the manager Jack Ross and his players, and they must be confident of winning this one. His side are fresh with the game in Dingwall against Ross County last weekend falling foul of the weather.
I was at the clash between these clubs in December in Hamilton and given how much Hibs dominated the game, the home side were lucky to lose by just the four goals.
But Ross will know that his opposite number, Brian Rice, will be much happier with his team in recent weeks. That’s three games unbeaten now for Accies and I saw them at first hand dismantle Motherwell at Fir Park last weekend.
Bruce Anderson has given them a huge lift since signing on loan from Aberdeen; his enthusiasm, energy and workrate is really infectious. Anderson is building an effective relationship with Marios Ogkmpoe and in Hakeem Odoffin, they have a midfielder playing at the top of his game.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 2-1
Motherwell vs St Johnstone – Saturday, 3pm
Losing so heavily at home to neighbours Hamilton Accies last weekend has brought Motherwell back into the relegation mix.
Graham Alexander knows his side are only four points away from second bottom and he cannot take anything for granted. I thought Hamilton wanted to win it more and bullied Motherwell slightly.
That basic attitude to compete from the first whistle will be what the Motherwell boss will be looking for above anything else in this one.
Calum Davidson may well have the following week’s League Cup final against Livingston on his mind with team selection, making sure he has as big a squad to choose from as possible.
His team competed well with Celtic last weekend in a 2-1 home defeat but if Chris Kane, Stevie May or Michael O’Halloran can get among the goals this weekend, they might just get to the front of the queue for a starting slot in the final.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-1
St Mirren vs Livingston – Saturday, 3pm
St Mirren have won both of the league meetings between the sides this season by a single goal but it was a painful loss to Livingston in the semi-final of the League Cup they will want to avenge.
After a troubling start to the league season where they were bottom of the table for a while – two wins in 11 games at one point – Jim Goodwin now has his sights set firmly on a top-six finish and it looks as though they are competing with Livingston and Dundee Utd for that coveted spot.
Jon Obika has reacted really well to the signings of strikers in the recent window to challenge for his place. Neither Colin Quaner nor Eamon Brophy have been able to take over as the recognised striker due to the excellent performances of Obika.
Just as they did against Celtic recently, Livingston may well rest a few of their key players in the hope of keeping them fresh for the League Cup final next weekend.
David Martindale will be aware though that his team have lost the last couple of games after that astonishing burst of 14 games unbeaten when he initially took over from Gary Holt.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-0
Rangers vs Dundee United – Sunday, 3pm
What a tremendous performance from Rangers in the first leg of their Europa League clash with Royal Antwerp in Belgium.
To win 4-3 in a pulsating 90 minutes highlighted again how impressive Rangers have competed in Europe under Steven Gerrard.
The bad news is that James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe picked up injuries that look like keeping them out of the team for a while. Leon Balogun stepped in as cover for Tavernier but as well as he defended, he will not offer as much going forward as the Rangers captain does.
Ryan Kent scored a wonderful goal and when he comes up with that type of end product in the final third of the pitch, there are few who can stop him.
Micky Mellon has been delighted with his team’s back-to-back wins over Ross County and Livingston in recent weeks but he must be wondering how his team can shape up to get a result at Ibrox where Rangers have still to drop a single point this season.
Lawrence Shankland is getting back to his best and offers their best hope of an away goal.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 2-1
Ross County vs Celtic – Sunday, 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports Football
With five wins on the spin, Celtic are in good form as they head to the Highlands for Sky’s live Scottish Premiership game on Sunday night.
Stephen Welsh is showing his potential at the heart of the defence while David Turnbull becomes more and more influential with every passing week, his goal from 30 yards against Aberdeen in midweek being the only difference between the sides.
Odsonne Edouard is another who is hitting top form but for Celtic fans, it’s too little too late for any chance of success.
John Hughes will know his team are massive underdogs for this one but they did surprise everyone when they beat Aberdeen 4-1 a few weeks ago.
Jordan White is giving the Highlanders something different in the attacking third but even allowing for the fact Ross County beat Celtic in Glasgow earlier this season in the League Cup, it’s hard to imagine Celtic dropping any points here.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-2
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