Doolan spells doom for Hearts

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: January 4 2014, 15:56 GMT

Gareth Friel previews this weekend's action in the Scottish Premiership and fancies Kris Doolan to shine.

Kris Doolan: Can expose poor Hearts defence
Kris Doolan: Can expose poor Hearts defence

St Johnstone may have been thumped on New Year's Day while Ross County were derby winners but I reckon the Perth Saints are a decent bet to win at the Global Energy Stadium on Saturday.

It's almost a year since County won successive games so the victory over Inverness doesn't necessarily signal a revival in fortunes.

Their previous victory was back in October against Aberdeen which was followed up by a 10-match winless run. They've suffered five home defeats in a row since then too.

St Johnstone have only lost successive games once this season and have the ability to bounce back from their 4-0 trashing at Motherwell.

They've only won once away in the Premiership but were victorious at Rosenborg and FC Minsk in the Europa League as well as at Morton and Hamilton in the League Cup.

County managed to turn a poor first half of last season around but there's not much to suggest they can do the same this time so taking St Johnstone at 29/20 is reasonable.

On Sunday, Hearts travel to face Partick Thistle, who are now over two months without a victory.

They battled well against Celtic on New Year's Day but were eventually beaten 1-0.

Goals have been a problem all season for the newly-promoted Jags - just 15 in 19 games helps explain why boss Alan Archibald has brought in Lyle Taylor from Sheffield United.

Kris Doolan has scored seven of those 15 and although he was on the bench at Celtic Park, he should be restored to the starting lineup here.

The striker will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against a Hearts side that has the second-worst defensive record in the top flight and lost to rivals Hibs on Thursday.

Doolan has scored first on four occasions and is 6/1 to do so again which looks decent to me.

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