Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
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Aberdeen and Celtic set for showdown at Pittodrie

| 12.09.2015

The top two in the Ladbrokes Premiership table lock horns in the live afternoon fixture, in what promises to be an early test of Aberdeen’s title credentials. 

Elsewhere strugglers Dundee United and Kilmarnock will be scrapping it out for a crucial three points and the high flying Highlanders Ross County make the long journey to Motherwell. Free scoring Dundee hold all the aces against the hapless Partick Thistle and finally, the in-form Hamilton look to make it four on the bounce against St Johnstone.

Here’s your weekly preview…

Aberdeen v Celtic

In the most eagerly anticipated fixture of the Scottish campaign thus far, defending champions Celtic make the trip to the early season pace setters Aberdeen.

The Dons threatened to give their Glaswegian opponents a run for their money in the title race last term, only for their challenge to fall just short into the new year.

Much of this was down to their poor record against today’s visitors, after they lost all four head-to-heads. If they are to close the gap between the two, they need to reverse this desperate run.

Derek McInnes’ men have started the season like a house on fire, winning five straight and a full and boisterous Pittodrie crowd is sure to inspire them this afternoon.

Best Bet: Aberdeen Draw No Bet at 2/1

Dundee United v Kilmarnock

Dundee United are one of the hardest teams to predict in Scottish football.

On their day they are capable of beating anyone with their exciting blend of youth and experience. However, after a reasonable start to the season, they have fallen to three straight defeats and find themselves in the unusual position near the foot of the table.

One of only two teams below them are Kilmarnock, who have failed to win a single match so far this term, leaving them rooted to the foot of the table.

The pressure is starting to mount on both Jackie McNamara and Gary Locke, so expect a nervy and tightly contested match here.

Best Bet: Draw at 13/5

Motherwell v Ross County

Ross County struggled for much of last season, but a late run of form saw them survive with ease. Their upturn in fortunes has continued into the new term, with an impressive total of 10 points from six matches.

The Staggies won convincingly in their latest match on the road, coming back from Kilmarnock with three points and a cracking 4-0 victory.

Jim McIntyre’s troops make the journey south to Lanarkshire knowing another victory would put them on the coat tails of the top three.

They should be confident of the win as Motherwell have only won once at home and have only claimed three more points since their opening day victory.

The Highlanders don’t have a great record at this ground but it looks likely that they may claim a maiden win at Fir Park here.

Best Bet: Ross County at 13/8

Partick v Dundee

Partick Thistle are in the midst of a worrying slump in form and their firepower is a big concern after failing to score in their last three matches, all of which they lost.

The Jags have only scored twice in 540 minutes of action this season, and they both came in a home draw with basement boys Kilmarnock.

Dundee may have too much firepower for the home side to handle. The Dens Park outfit have eight points and an impressive 10 goals total to their name, with forwards Kane Hemmings, Greg Stewart and Rory Loy sharing out the goals between them.

It has been five years since Paul Hartley’s men last tasted defeat at Firhill and another long ninety minutes await for the beleaguered home support.

Best Bet: Dundee/Dundee at 15/4

Stenhousemuir v Stranraer

St Johnstone have found form hard to come by after an inconsistent start to the season. Tommy Wright’s men have scored in every match to date, but also conceded an eye watering 12 goals and lost two of their last three league fixtures.

Hamilton are sitting pretty in fourth position in the Ladbrokes Premiership, following a fine run of three consecutive wins.

The Accies were tipped by many in the know to be prime candidates for relegation after their woeful end to last season, but their fantastic start defies this prediction.

Martin Canning had big shoes to fill after the astute Alex Neil left for Norwich, but with some of his own signings on board he is slowly starting to stamp his mark on the club.

The visitors picked up seven points out of nine against the Perth outfit last term, and can be backed to maintain their impressive opening.

Best Bet: Hamilton 2-1 at 10/1

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Paul Fulton

Paul is a sporting all-rounder with a particular penchant for tennis, football and golf.
He has contributed to a number of publications, including the Edinburgh Evening News. Is most at home with a scotch pie and bovril in hand watching his beloved Hibs.