Christmas eve appears to offer just as much excitement and anticipation one would expect of a 10 year old child hopping into bed to await santa’s arrival. Two early kickoffs in the highlands and in Paisley. Though eyes cannot be drawn away from the two big games of the weekend. Inverness Caley Thistle facing strong Aberdeen opposition and two sides struggling for form in Dumfermline versus St.Johnstone.

The early kickoff sees Inverness Caley Thistle versus Abderdeen at 12.30 in the Highlands. Failure to win for Butchers boys and a victory for the Dons would see the Craig Browns men stretch the gap between the sides to 8 points. Inverness continue to face defensive issues with David Proctor and Chris Hogg still sidelined and to make matters worse for Caley, captain Richie Foran is suspended. Aberdeen only have to suffer the lose of Peter Pawlet following suspension through his dive against Hibs. Its a must win for Butcher, though considerin form of late and defensive issues, I cannot see beyond a win for Abderdeen.

Prediction  ICT 1 – Abderdeen 2

The 12.45ko in Paisley sees Danny Lennons St.Mirren face league holders Rangers. Both teams are not struggling with injuries, though the buddies will have to face Rangers without Jim Goodwin who was suspended due to an altercation with Motherwell’s Steve Jennings. Rangers see Sone Aluko return from suspension and Dorin Goian could make a return, though with eyes on the old firm on wednesday, will McCoist risk Goian or Lafferty. Rangers form of late has been poor though an ability to grind out a result is still apparent, St.Mirren have failed to record a win in 4 SPL games and beating current league leaders looks beyond them.

Prediction St.Mirren 0 – Rangers 2

Neil Lennon’s Celtic host Kilmarnock at Parkhead in a 13.30ko and are on the back of a domestic winning run of 7 games. Again will Neil Lennons focus be on the old firm and an appearence of Izaguirre could be unlikely. Majstorovic is unavailable following a fractured cheekbone and joines Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews on the sidelines. Kenny Shiels could be without his son Dean who is doubtful to make an appearence, thought James Fowler could be set for a return to action. With a victory over Rangers already in the bag and narrowly drawing with Celtic after being 3-0 up, it could be a close game with Shields appearing to get the best out of his side.

Prediciton Celtic 1 – Kilmarnock 0

Dundee United face an Hibernian side still waiting to achieve victory under Pat Fenlon. Peter Houston is able to select from a fit squad and with Scott Robertson being back in contention, he has a full pack of cards to choose from. Hibernian see Leigh Griffiths return though an injury to midfielder Isaiah Osbourne could pose problems. Dundee United’s form of late has been solid and could pose problems to a Hibs side lacking confidence and a trip to Tanadice could prove to be a further stumbling block.

Prediction Dundee United 1 – Hibernian 1

Struggling Dumermline host a St.Johnstone side whose form has dipped much following injuries to captain and playmaker Jody Morris. Steve Lomas can welcome back his skipper along with top goal scorer Francisco Sandaza. St.Johnstone should be confident in taking all 3 points here with a Dumfermline side struggling to put points on the table. The return of mad mental Martin Hardie could offer some hope to Jim McIntyre’s side, though a great improvement will be needed to take 3 points.

Prediction Dumfermline 0 – St.Johnstone 2

A Hearts team suffering from many off the pitch problems have seen striker Ryan Stevenson hand in a request to leave the club. Only days following the sale of the versatile Eggert Jonsson for a bumper price of around £2ook to premiership side Wolves. Paulo Sergio will be without Stevenson and could find a place for Andrew Driver within his side following Drivers change of heart after declaring his intention to leave the club. Following a 4-0 win over bottom club Dumfermline, Hearts have every right to feel theycould earn some home points against a Motherwell team flying high. Stuart McCall has transformed the steelmen into a very organised outfit and only have Steve Jennings recently sidelined. With confidence high for Motherwell and Hearts players playing for their own pride, a very entertaining game could be on the cards.

Prediction Hearts 2 – Motherwell 1

By Gavin Knox, you can follow him on twitter @gav_42