Can Partick Thistle build on pre-break Premiership momentum?
When we spoke to Kris Doolan ahead of this Ladbrokes Premiership campaign, he was quick to tell us how Partick Thistle had a “strong chance” of a top-six finish in 2016-17.
But while that dream seemed gone with the Jags bottom of the table six weeks ago, they now find themselves just a point off the top six.
However, while Alan Archibald’s men were in fine fettle ahead of the winter break, can they continue that good form – seven points in three league games – following their return?
Last weekend’s Scottish Cup tie against Formartine United sent off a positive message, with the Glasgow outfit cruising to a 4-0 victory. Admittedly they’ll face far tougher opposition than the Highland Football League club, but the Jags’ link-up play impressed, and Chris Erskine netted a clinical brace.
Perhaps more importantly, though, that marks three clean sheets in four games for Archibald’s men, who have now limited their latest trio of opponents – Kilmarnock, Dundee and Formartine – to just eight shots on target combined.
Meanwhile, Kris Doolan has shown glimpses of his best form in recent games, netting twice in the last four, including a smartly-taken winner against Dundee at Firhill.
And they could be set for a confidence-boosting jump into the top half this weekend as they face an Inverness Caledonian Thistle side without a win in their last six league games.
There’s also been some positive activity in the transfer market, with the hugely talented Niall Keown – son of three-time Premier League winner Martin – having arrived on loan from Reading, having greatly impressed in the Royals’ youth setup.
So while Thistle will obviously miss the departed Ziggy Gordon – who left for Polish outfit Jagiellonia Bialystok –, his absence will be softened by the arrival of a talented new defender at centre-back.
Partick Thistle are 9/5 for victory at Inverness this weekend, and Archibald’s men look well worth backing at those odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing