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Football Expert & Columnist
Friday 29 January 2021 17:24, UK
Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another weekend of Scottish Premiership action.
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Celtic vs St Mirren – Saturday, 3pm
Every Celtic supporter is now looking for their team to gain a bit of momentum by putting together a winning run. A straightforward 2-0 win a few days ago against Hamilton Accies was the first victory of the year and the clash with St Mirren is a chance to build on that. Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths were both on the scoresheet in midweek and will lead the line again.
However, it will not be easy against a side that just racked up five goals at Tannadice against Dundee United, a magnificent result. The League Cup semi-final loss was still fresh for every Saints player and they bounced back in terrific style. Jamie McGrath scored twice from the spot and he can be happy with his contribution to the team’s results so far. Jim Goodwin’s primary objective had to be survival this season and he’s on the right path. Two points behind Dundee United with three games in hand gives them a realistic hope of finishing in the top six. Even allowing for Celtic’s indifferent form, St Mirren surely cannot expect to get anything here?
Andy Walker’s prediction: 3-0
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Dundee United 1-1 Hibs – Saturday, 3pm
I was at this game earlier in the season when Hibs managed to sneak a 1-0 win and I am sure this game will be just as tight. I have to say I was as shocked as everyone else when I saw that United had shipped five goals in their previous home game knowing that defensive organisation has been one of their biggest strengths this year. Micky Mellon will be concerned not only with the shocking nature of some of the goals they conceded, but more importantly, he will realise his team have not won in six games now.
Hibs boss Jack Ross was angry at the manner in which his team capitulated in the last 30 mins of the semi-final defeat to St Johnstone, but they competed well against Rangers in a narrow 1-0 defeat on Wednesday. Hibs look likely to be without Joe Newell again, they are missing his skill and ability in midfield.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-1
Kilmarnock vs St Johnstone – Saturday, 3m
These teams are level on points in eighth and ninth position, but both will feel a lot better with a bit more daylight between them and the bottom two places. St Johnstone should be on a high, the win over Hibs in the semi-final of the League Cup was a huge boost and they followed it up with a vital point against Aberdeen in midweek. I am sure Glenn Middleton will be getting more game time after coming on as a sub in the game against Aberdeen, the loan signing from Rangers giving Callum Davidson more options up front.
Similarly, Alex Dyer will be hoping that George Oakley can be more of a goal threat for his team, but I always feel as though Gary Dicker makes Kilmarnock tick. The news he has returned to training will give everyone a lift in Ayrshire, he makes Kilmarnock a better side.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-0
Livingston 0-1 Aberdeen – Saturday, 3pm
I am going for the shock scoreline of the weekend, Livingston to lose! They have not lost any in the 12 games that David Martindale has been in charge of, a truly amazing impact. A League Cup final is on the horizon after a narrow 1-0 win over St Mirren and given their form, they will probably start as favourites. Captain Marvin Bartley and Jason Holt are doing a wonderful job in midfield and are key influencers in the way Livingston approach games.
For Aberdeen, some changes are afoot. Sam Cosgrove looks to have secured his move to Birmingham City, a deal with the English Championship club being imminent. Having scored 47 goals in 103 games, his contribution to the club has been excellent. Funsu Ojo is also likely to join Wigan Athletic as the Dons adjust to the new restrictions that Covid brings, but they are still favourites to finish best of the rest behind Celtic and Rangers.
Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-1
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