Inverness to win on the road
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Gavin McGrane has a best bet for every division of the SPFL. Match-by-match score verdicts and team news for the Scottish Premiership games are also now available.
I like the look of Inverness to win away at Motherwell. Stuart McCall’s Motherwell got a fortunate win against St Mirren in their opener and followed up in midweek with a narrow defeat at Dundee United. It will be hard McCall to get the same level of performance this season with no real additions to the squad. Inverness should be backed at a decent price.
Backing Raith to beat Alloa is the way to go in the Championship. Raith have made some good signings and may surprise a few of the top teams this season. They should have enough to beat Alloa, who I think will struggle over the course of the campaign.
Dunfermline didn’t have the best start last weekend with a goalless draw but I expect them to show their class and win this game with ease. There’s plenty more to come from the Pars this season. It will be a long season for Forfar and they won’t get anything from this game.
Albion Rovers made a good start beating one of the title challengers Annan in the first weekend of the season. They are a strong team who will be looking to make a promotion bid and at the prices against Arbroath they offer a good option, especially with the Draw No Bet option.
Scottish Premiership team news and score verdicts (league position in brackets)
Saturday, August 16
Charlie Mulgrew returns from suspension having been banned for the 3-0 win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night. Striker Leigh Griffiths is available again after sickness ruled him out of the trip to Perth while captain Scott Brown remains out with a hamstring injury.
Dundee United will still be without several defenders. Sean Dillon (fractured cheekbone), Mark Wilson (broken foot) and John Souttar (ankle) remain on the sidelines, but league leaders United are still to concede a goal.
Last season: Celtic 3 Dundee United 1, Dundee United 0 Celtic 2, Celtic 1 Dundee Utd 1, Dundee Utd 0 Celtic 1
Top scorers (all competitions): Teemu Pukki, Virgil van Dijk and Callum McGregor (Celtic); Mario Bilate, Chris Erskine, Ryan Dow, Gary Mackay-Steven 1 (Dundee United).
Referee: Craig Thomson
Our verdict: Celtic 4 Dundee United 1
Dundee skipper Kevin Thomson is set to miss out with a calf injury. Fellow midfielder Kevin McBride is also doubtful because of the same problem. Striker Phil Roberts is still suspended as he serves the third game of his four-match ban.
Partick manager Alan Archibald looks likely to name the same team that thrashed Ross County 4-0. Midfielder Sean Welsh is the only absentee as he battles a long-term groin problem.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Top scorers (all competitions): Greg Stewart, Simon Ferry, Gary Harkins, Luka Tankulic & Peter MacDonald (Dundee) 1; Gary Fraser, Stuart Bannigan, Stephen O'Donnell (Partick) 1.
Referee: Craig Charleston
Our verdict: Dundee 2 Partick 1
Hamilton player-manager Alex Neil will assess Tony Andreu to see if he has any chance of being involved. The midfielder has been out with a knee injury but Neil is hoping to have him back in the squad for the visit of the Scottish Cup winners. Midfielder Jon Routledge has recovered from his knee injury but is still building up fitness.
Dave Mackay is available for St Johnstone. The defender was sent off for a last-man foul against Celtic, but Saints appealed and his suspension is shelved before the hearing takes place. Midfielder Murray Davidson is still working on his fitness following knee surgery.
Last season: No corresponding fixture
Top scorers (all competitions): Dougie Imrie, Louis Longridge & Alister Crawford (Hamilton) 1; Steven MacLean 2 (St Johnstone).
Referee: Bobby Madden
Our verdict: Hamilton 1 St Johnstone 3
Loan signings Henrik Ojamaa and Mark O'Brien could both go into the Motherwell squad to face Inverness if they receive international clearance in time. But Well are likely to be without two of the players that visited Dundee United in midweek with Zaine Francis-Angol favourite to miss out after going off at half-time while already struggling. Defenders Adam Cummins (muscle strain), Steven Hammell (groin) and Simon Ramsden (calf) are still out along with midfielder Iain Vigurs (nerve injury), while striker Craig Moore (knee) is out long term.
Defender David Raven has shrugged off a groin complaint to be in contention for Inverness. Midfielder James Vincent came off in the goalless draw against Dundee in midweek with a similar complaint but will be given every chance by manager John Hughes to make the game. Hughes will again be without Richie Foran and Danny Devine (both knee) although the latter will start training with the first team on Monday.
Last season: Motherwell 2 Inverness 1, Inverness 1 Motherwell 2, Motherwell 2 Inverness 0, Inverness 2 Motherwell 0.
Top scorers (all competitions): Lee Erwin, Lionel Ainsworth & Steven Hammell (Motherwell) 1; Ryan Christie & Billy McKay (Inverness) 1.
Referee: Steven McLean
Our verdict: Motherwell 1 Inverness 3
Ross County defender Steven Saunders is set for a lengthy lay-off. Saunders has an ankle injury which could keep him out for an extended period, although he is waiting on the results of a scan. Centre-back Scott Boyd has shrugged off the knock that forced him off against Partick Thistle in midweek.
New signing Michael Ngoo goes straight into Kilmarnock's squad. The former Liverpool striker, 21, signed a two-year contract with the Rugby Park club following loan spells at Hearts, Yeovil and Walsall. Striker Lee Miller is still out with a calf strain but should be back training on Monday.
Last season: Ross County 2 Kilmarnock 1, Kilmarnock 2 Ross County 2, Ross County 1 Kilmarnock 2, Kilmarnock 2 Ross County 0.
Top scorers: Jake Jervis (Ross County) 1; Craig Slater (Kilmarnock) 1.
Referee: Brian Colvin
Our verdict: Ross County 1 Kilmarnock 1