Walker & Crocker’s Scottish Premiership predictions

Ian Crocker and Andy Walker look through the penultimate weekend of Scottish Premiership fixtures.

Aberdeen v Hearts – Friday 7.45pm

Referee: Bobby Madden

Opta Stats

Aberdeen are unbeaten in their last five home league meetings with Hearts (W3 D2); they have kept a clean sheet in all five of those games.

Hearts are looking to earn back-to-back top-flight wins over Aberdeen for the first time since May 2016 under Robbie Neilson having beaten them 2-1 at Tynecastle in March.

Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Aberdeen have won eight of their nine league matches played on a Friday, losing the other 1-3 at home to Celtic in May 2017.

Hearts have picked just one point from a possible 15 in their last five Scottish Premiership matches (D1 L4), scoring three goals and conceding 10.

Aberdeen are looking to avoid three successive Scottish Premiership defeats for the first time since May 2016.

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: Aberdeen 1-1 Hearts

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Lewis Ferguson: Has had an excellent first season at Aberdeen hence a few award nominations.

Christophe Berra: A contest with Sam Cosgrove will be right up his street.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: Aberdeen 1-0 Hearts

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

Scott McKenna: One player Derek McInnes will be hoping is still around for a while yet.

Harry Cochrane: Still has a lot to do to become a reliable first team regular.

Kilmarnock v Hibernian – Saturday 3pm

Referee: Andrew Dallas

Opta Stats

Kilmarnock have only won one of their last eight home Scottish Premiership contests against Hibernian (D3 L4), however that was their last such match in December 2018 (3-0).

Hibernian have failed to score in both of their last two league meetings with Kilmarnock (D1 L1); they have never drawn a blank in three consecutive Scottish Premiership match against Killie.

Kilmarnock have conceded just three goals in their last nine Scottish Premiership games, keeping six clean sheets in total.

Hibernian have only lost one of their last 11 Scottish Premiership matches (W6 D4), although this lost came in their most recent match against Rangers.

Since joining in January, Hibernian striker Marc McNulty has been directly involved in 10 goals in his 11 Scottish Premiership starts (6 goals, 4 assists).

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: Kilmarnock 2-1 Hibernian

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Greg Taylor: Deserved nomination for Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year Award.

Lewis Stevenson: Not quite as young as Greg but a similarly consistent performer at left-back.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: Kilmarnock 1-1 Hibernian

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

Rory McKenzie: One of a number producing better football under Stevie Clark.

Stevie Mallan: What a tremendous season he’s had.

Livingston v Dundee – Saturday 3pm

Referee: Alan Newlands

Opta Stats

Livingston have only lost one of their seven home Scottish Premiership meetings with Dundee (W3 D3), however that did come in the most recent such game in February (1-2).

Dundee are looking to win back-to-back top-flight matches versus Livingston for the first time since March 2005.

Livingston have only won one of their last seven league games (D4 L2), with a current winless run of four matches (D3 L1).

Dundee have lost each of their last 10 Scottish Premiership games – opponents Livingston were the last team to lose 11+ in a row (13 between Dec 2005 – April 2006).

Four of Dundee’s last six Scottish Premiership away goals have come from set-piece situations (1x free-kick, 1x penalty, 2x corners).

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: Livingston 2-1 Dundee

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Scott Pittman: Quietly gets on with it and integral to the team.

Darren O’Dea: Shame to end on a down but a decent career.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: Livingston 1-0 Dundee

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

Liam Kelly: An excellent debut season in the demands of Scotland’s top flight.

Ryan McGowan: Doubtful he’ll be asked to stay on as Dundee come to terms with relegation.

St Johnstone v Motherwell – Saturday 3pm

Referee: Colin Steven

Opta Stats

St. Johnstone have won seven of their last 10 home league games against Motherwell (D2 L1), however they did lose their most recent such meeting in December 2018 (1-2).

Motherwell have won both of their last two league games against St. Johnstone; they last beat them three times in succession in the top-flight in April 2012 under Stuart McCall.

St. Johnstone are unbeaten in four Scottish Premiership home games since losing all three home league games in February (W3 D1).

Since winning three successive league away trips between December and February, Motherwell are winless in the following five Scottish Premiership matches (D2 L3).

Motherwell’s David Turnbull has been directly involved in 12 Scottish Premiership goals in 2019 (10 goals, 2 assists); five more than any of his teammates.

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: St Johnstone 1-2 Motherwell

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Michael O’Halloran: Back where he does his best stuff and will want to end the season on a high.

David Turnbull: Unlucky not to scoop the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. Can’t have been far off.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: St Johnstone 2-2 Motherwell

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

Murray Davidson: Always a goalscoring threat from midfield.

Charles Dunne: Has played consistently well for Motherwell over the last couple of seasons.

Rangers v Celtic – Sunday 12pm Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Opta Stats

Rangers will be looking to earn back-to-back home league wins over Celtic for the first time since March 2012 after beating them 1-0 in December 2018.

Celtic have won nine of the last 12 Old Firm derbies in the Scottish Premiership (D2 L1), including four of the last five (L1).

Rangers have won each of their last five Scottish Premiership matches, they last went on a longer run in the top-flight in October 2011 (9 games).

Since losing to Rangers at the Ibrox in December, Celtic have remained unbeaten in 16 league games (W13 D3), scoring 29 goals and conceding just three.

Celtic have picked up 19 points from a possible 21 in their last seven Scottish Premiership away trips (W6 D1), conceding just one goal.

Rangers’ Kyle Lafferty has scored in four of his last five league appearances against Celtic (four goals), including each of his last three at home – all for previous club Hearts.

Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos has faced Celtic more times without yet scoring in the Scottish Premiership (seven) than any other opponent; he was sent off in the most recent Old Firm derby in March, his fourth league red card of 2018-19.

Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard has been directly involved in six goals in five appearances in Old Firm derbies in the Scottish Premiership (four goals, two assists), including netting the opener and assisting the winner the last time Celtic and Rangers met in March.

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: Rangers 2-2 Celtic

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Ryan Kent: Scored one and set up the other of Rangers’ Old Firm goals this season.

James Forrest: Scored one and set up the other two Celtic derby goals this season.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: Rangers 1-1 Celtic

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

Steve Davis: Rangers have improved greatly with him in the side.

Kristoffer Ajer: Developing into a classy central defender.

St Mirren v Hamilton – 7.45pm Monday

Referee: William Collum

Opta Stats

St. Mirren have lost six of their last eight top-flight meetings with Hamilton (W1 D1), although did earn a draw in the last such clash in April.

Hamilton have won three of their last four visits to St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership (L1), this after having only won two of their first six trips there in the competition beforehand (D2 L2).

St. Mirren haven’t won a Scottish Premiership match on a Monday since April 2007 against Falkirk, drawing three and losing seven of 10 top-flight matches on this day since – including a 0-1 loss at home to Hamilton in May 2011.

Hamilton have failed to score in 13 of their 18 Scottish Premiership away games this season; three more than any other side in the division.

St. Mirren have won just two of their last 10 home league games (D1 L7), although they only lost two of the last five (W2 D1).

Ian Crocker’s Prediction: St Mirren 2-2 Hamilton

Ian Crocker’s Key Men:

Simeon Jackson: Has always found a way to goal in his career.

Ziggy Gordon: Sums up Accies’ defiance when it comes to fighting for survival.

Andy Walker’s Prediction: St Mirren 1-1 Hamilton

Andy Walker’s Key Men:

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