Rangers face tough test

  • By: Gavin McGrane
  • Last Updated: August 10 2014, 15:12 BST

Gavin McGrane supports Hearts in the Double Chance market against Rangers as one of his top SPFL tips.

Hearts face Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday
Hearts face Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday

Gavin McGrane supports Hearts in the Double Chance market against Rangers in the Scottish Championship as one of his top SPFL tips.

Match-by-match score verdicts and team news for the Scottish Premiership will be published in this story later today.

Back Hearts/Draw in the Double Chance market v Rangers (Scottish Championship)

The pick of the games in Scotland comes on Sunday as Rangers host Hearts in the Championship. The Sky Sports cameras will be there to watch the clash between last season's League One champions and the relegated Jambos. There was plenty of spirit from Hearts as they tried to avoid relegation from the top-flight following their 15-point deduction last term. I think they will be Rangers' closest challengers in the months ahead and you can get good value for Hearts to avoid defeat at Ibrox.

Back Annan Athletic to beat Albion Rovers (Scottish League Two)

You will have seen from my ante-post preview that I think Annan have been underrated ahead of the new season. They have made some good summer signings to complement what was already a decent squad. Annan should be backed to start off with three points at Albion Rovers.

Scottish Premiership Team News And Statistics

Dundee  v Kilmarnock

Dundee will kick off their Scottish Premiership campaign against Kilmarnock at Dens Park without forward Phil Roberts, who begins a four-match ban. Midfielder Kevin McBride is carrying a leg knock, full-back Gary Irvine hopes to recover in time from a groin injury, while goalkeeper Scott Bain is still recuperating following appendix surgery.

Kilmarnock midfielder Jamie Hamill is suspended for clash at Dundee. Alexei Eremenko could feature after signing for the club on Thursday but he is short of match fitness. The likes of Lee Miller, Paul Cairney, Mark Connolly, Josh Magennis and Tope Obadeyi are in line for their debuts.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Dundee D W L W W; Kilmarnock L L L W W

Match odds: H 7-5 A 21-10 D 21-10

Referee: Steven McLean (Scotland)

Hamilton v Inverness CT

Hamilton player/manager Alex Neil has no fresh injuries for the Scottish Premiership opener against Inverness at New Douglas Park. Midfielder Jon Routledge is recovering from a knee operation but is not yet ready to be considered. Midfielder Tony Andreu has recovered from a knee injury but it is also too early for him.

Inverness will be without Richie Foran and Danny Devine. Both have knee injuries although Devine may return to training next week. Manager John Hughes is aiming to tie up a deal for former Hibernian midfielder Lewis Horner before the New Douglas Park clash.

Last season: No Corresponding fixture

Last five league matches: Hamilton D D W L W; Inverness CT D L D L W

Match odds: H 21-10 A 7-5 D 21-10

Referee: Don Robertson (Scotland)

Motherwell v St Mirren

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall could be without his entire first-choice back four for the Scottish Premiership opener against St Mirren at Fir Park. Two of Craig Reid, Steven Hammell, Stephen McManus and Simon Ramsden are definitely out and the other two face fitness tests on the morning of the game. Striker Craig Moore (knee) remains out and Paul Lawson is still fighting his way back from Achilles surgery, while fellow midfielder Iain Vigurs is suspended.

St Mirren striker Steven Thompson will miss the Motherwell clash with a groin strain that manager Tommy Craig believes will keep him out for at least another couple of weeks. The Buddies' boss has no other injury worries for the trip to Lanarkshire.

Last season: St Mirren 3 Motherwell 2, Motherwell 3 St Mirren 0 St Mirren 0 Motherwell 1

Last five league matches: Motherwell D L W W W; St Mirren W D W L D

Match odds: H 5-6 A 16-5 D 5-2

Referee: Calum Murray (Scotland)

Aberdeen v Dundee Utd

Aberdeen are without the suspended Jonny Hayes and Russell Anderson for their Scottish Premiership opener against Dundee United. Clark Robertson returns to the squad following knee surgery while teenage winger Scott Wright is also included. Striker Declan McManus has joined Morton on loan until January.

Dundee United will be without Sean Dillon after the defender underwent surgery on his fractured cheekbone. Dillon is joined on the sidelines by Mark Wilson who is recovering from a broken foot. Another defender, John Souttar, is still out due to an ankle injury, but Keith Watson should make it back from a calf injury.

Last season: Dundee Utd 1 Aberdeen 3, Aberdeen 1 Dundee Utd 1 Dundee Utd 1 Aberdeen 2, Aberdeen 1 Dundee Utd 0

Last five league matches: Aberdeen D D L W L; Dundee Utd L W D L L

Match odds: H 6-5 A 23-10 D 23-10

Referee: William Collum (Scotland)

Ross County v St Johnstone

Ross County have 10 players aiming to make their debuts in the Scottish Premiership clash with St Johnstone on Sunday. Joe Cardle, Jake Jervis, Antonio Reguero, Liam Boyce, Jordi Balk, Jim Fenlon, Tim Dreesen, Ben Frempah, Uros Celcer and Roasario Latouchent are the new names in Derek Adams' squad. Stuart Kettlewell is missing after a hip operation with his future uncertain until he proves his fitness.

St Johnstone will have new signing Adam Morgan in their squad. The 20-year-old joined on loan from Yeovil as top goalscorer Stevie May travelled to South Yorkshire for talks with Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday. Murray Davidson (knee) remains on the sidelines, but Steven Anderson could feature after staying on the bench in Slovakia against Spartak Trnava following a hamstring problem.

Last season: St Johnstone 0 Ross County 1, Ross County 1 St Johnstone 0 St Johnstone 4 Ross County 0

Last five league matches: Ross County L W L W W; St Johnstone W D L D L

Match odds: H 21-10 A 7-5 D 21-10

Referee: Kevin Clancy (Scotland)