Caley to go in for the Kil
Inverness are backed to beat Kilmarnock by our Scottish football expert Gavin McGrane in our SPFL preview package.
In the Scottish Premier I like the look of Inverness to beat Kilmarnock. Kilmarnock have had a midweek derby in the League Cup against Ayr which they won 1-0 and I still think they are coming to terms with the loss of Kris Boyd to Rangers during the summer. Inverness come off a good win against Celtic and also have had all week to prepare.
I am going to take Hibernian in the Championship, the midweek comeback against Dumbarton would have lifted the spirits and I think if they can take that into the game against Alloa they should have too much. Alloa come off a 4-1 away loss to Hamilton in the League Cup during the week and that will affect the part timers.
Dunfermline seem to have found their feet this season and they should have too much firepower for Stranraer. Both had narrow losses to Premiership teams midweek but I think Dunfermline will recover quicker as they are full time and have too much class for Stranraer.
Nothing ground breaking with this tip but I like the look of East Fife to beat East Stirling. East Fife have struggled so far but they are better than the form suggests. East Stirling are further hampered by the suspension of key defender Michael Bolo.
Saturday, August 30
Aberdeen midfielder Jeffrey Monakana, on loan from Brighton, misses out due to a minor infection in his lower back, but should resume training on Monday. Captain Russell Anderson (knee) and Ashton Taylor (calf) have given themselves every chance to be fit.
New signing Jake Carroll is set to go straight into the Partick squad if he receives international clearance in time. Thistle are also boosted by the return of goalkeeper Scott Fox from suspension but boss Alan Archibald is sweating over the fitness of a few players. Jordan McMillan (hamstring), Abdul Osman (knee) and Gary Fraser (knee) are all doubtful for the visit to Pittodrie.
Last season: Partick 3 Aberdeen 1, Aberdeen 4 Partick 0, Partick 0 Aberdeen 3
Top scorers (all competitions): Peter Pawlett (Aberdeen) 2; Gary Fraser (Partick) 2
Match odds: H 8-13 A 7-2 D 5-2
Referee: Brian Colvin
Verdict: Aberdeen 2 Partick 1
Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil has no fresh injury worries. Jon Routledge continues to recover from his knee operation. However, it is still too soon for the midfielder to be considered for inclusion.
Tim Dreesen (back) and Steven Saunders (ankle) were joined on the sidelines for Ross County by Yoann Arquin during the midweek cup win over Stranraer. Full-back Jim Fenlon went off injured in the first half of the Stair Park meeting.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Top scorers (all competitions): Louis Longridge and Tony Andreu (Hamilton) 2; Jake Jervis and Liam Boyce (Ross County) 2
Match odds: H 1-1 A 23-10 D 21-10
Referee: William Collum
Verdict: Hamilton 2 Ross County 0
Inverness playmaker James Vincent could return for the Premiership leaders. Vincent trained on Thursday after missing the win over Celtic with a groin injury and will be in the squad if there is no reaction. Richie Foran (knee) remains out while Danny Devine played a bounce game in midweek following his knee problem but is still short of match-fitness.
Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston will check on the fitness of Tope Obadeyi. The winger came off with a hamstring problem in the first half of Tuesday's Ayrshire derby but the injury is not serious. Michael Ngoo could come back into the squad after overcoming an ankle problem.
Last season: Kilmarnock 2 Inverness 0, Inverness 2 Kilmarnock 1, Kilmarnock 1 Inverness 2
Top scorers (all competitions): Greg Tansey, Ryan Christie, Billy McKay and Aaron Doran (Inverness) 1; Tope Obadeyi, Sammy Clingan, Robbie Muirhead, Josh Magennis, Craig Slater and Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock) 1
Match odds: H 5-6 A 11-4 D 11-5
Referee: John Beaton
Verdict: Inverness 3 Kilmarnock 1
Motherwell manager Stuart McCall expects to have a similar squad to last week at his disposal. Zaine Francis-Angol and Simon Ramsden have both returned to training but are unlikely to feature this weekend, with a return from injury after the international break a more realistic target. On-loan Derby defender Mark O'Brien has yet to feature for the Steelmen and could be handed his debut against the Saints.
Brian Graham goes straight into the St Johnstone squad after the 26-year-old striker signed on loan from Dundee United on Thursday until the end of the season. Manager Tommy Wright has no fresh injury worries and is encouraged by the progress of midfielder Murray Davidson who is still working on his fitness following knee surgery.
Last season: Motherwell 2 St Johnstone 1, St Johnstone 3 Motherwell 0, Motherwell 4 St Johnstone 0, St Johnstone 2 Motherwell 0
Top scorers (all competitions): Lee Erwin, Lionel Ainsworth and Steven Hammell (Motherwell) 1; Steven MacLean (St Johnstone) 2
Match odds: H 11-8 A 13-8 D 12-5
Referee: Alan Muir
Verdict: Motherwell 1 St Johnstone 1
St Mirren captain Steven Thompson is a major doubt after he came off at half-time in Tuesday's League Cup win over Dunfermline having aggravated a groin injury. Another striker, James Marwood, remains out with a knee injury.
Dundee United midfielder Stuart Armstrong (ankle) remains out of the squad. Defenders Sean Dillon (fractured cheekbone), Mark Wilson (broken foot) and John Souttar (ankle) are also still on the sidelines. Striker Brian Graham is unavailable after joining St Johnstone on Thursday in a season-long loan deal.
Last season: Dundee Utd 3 St Mirren 2, St Mirren 4 Dundee Utd 1, Dundee Utd 4 St Mirren 0
Top scorers (all competitions): Ross Caldwell (St Mirren) 2; Chris Erskine (Dundee Utd) 2
Match odds: H 23-10 A 1-1 D 21-10
Referee: Bobby Madden
Verdict: St Mirren 0 Dundee United 2
Sunday, August 31
Dundee skipper Kevin Thomson is recovering from a calf strain but might not be ready in time to face Celtic. Full-back Willie Dyer is a doubt again for boss Paul Hartley with his knee injury. However, midfielder Kevin McBride could return after a leg knock.
Wakaso Mubarak could go into the Celtic squad after the Ghana winger signed on a season-long loan from Rubin Kazan on Wednesday. Manager Ronny Deila will assess him before the trip to Tayside. Recent loan signing from Aston Villa, Aleksandar Tonev, is not ready for his debut while James Forrest (hamstring) remains out and captain Scott Brown is also still missing as he recovers from a hamstring complaint.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Top scorers (all competitions): Peter MacDonald (Dundee) 3; Callum McGregor (Celtic) 3
Match odds: H 6-1 A 2-5 D 11-4
Referee: Craig Thomson
Verdict: Dundee 1 Celtic 2