St.Mirren v Celtic

The early kick off sees the two Lennon’s come face to face and has Celtic travel to one of the 3 grounds where Rangers have tasted defeat. Former Celts  Paul McGowan & Graham Carey have been instrumental in Danny Lennon’s approach play and getting goals and are proven game changers for the Paisley side. Carey netted the only goal in their midweek Scottish Cup win. Dougie Imire has just signed from the team they beat in that Scottish Cup tie, Hamilton Accies.Celtic have announced that Hooper will be staying as Southampton have dropped their interest & a bid for Fraser Forster  has been submitted. Victor Wanyama & Neil Lennon recently crowned young player & manager of the month respectively and spirits are high in the league leaders camp as the team sit on a 12 game domestic winning streak.

Dundee United v Motherwell

United are lacking a clinical edge of late and it was obvious are Celtic Park that the side create chances and half chances,but they don’t have a final ball in them. With their poor run of form, European places could have to wait til next season for the Tayside club . Although a win over their stuttering opponents would help them get closer to a top 4 finish. With Dalla Valle returning to Fulham after his loan spell finished & Scott Allan off to WBA , Peter Houston will sit and wonder who to bring in, in the stands as he serves out the remainder of his 2 match touch-line ban after comments on the referee on the Aberdeen match on January 2nd. John Daly is on 11 goals this season but has been quite of late.The away side have been poor and have failed to win a game in the SPL in 5 matches. A huge contrast to the way they started the season.

Hibernian v St.Johnstone

With the exit of Palsson and Junior Agogo after he only netted 1 goal in 14 games, Leigh Griffiths’ loan spell has been extended til the end of the season and he has proven his worth by scoring 3 in 2 after extending his stay. Sadly Gary O’Connor’s form has been patchy and poor and the two are still to form some kind of partnership. After Hibs fans were calling for his head, Pat Fenlon finally got his first win in charge of the Edinburgh club, swiftly followed by another one. He has already brough in Arsenal player Rhys Murhpy on trial and has declared he wants to sign St.Mirren’s Jim Goodwin. Saints are looking to put pressure on a collapsing Motherwell.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Hearts of Midloathian

Johnny Hayes and Gregory Tade have between them scored 7 goals in 7 appearances , making Terry Butcher a happy man. Recent wins over Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup, and a win at 4th placed Motherwell have seen them do all they can do to try crawl out of the relegation battle ditch. Hearts have been in great form recently and a 5-2 win over St.Mirren with 10 men for 80 minutes highlighted their drive despite the off the field antics and fiascos. Rudi Skacel’s hat trick in that 5-2 win was a real delight for the Jambos and they will hope he can continue his scoring ways.

Kilmarnock v Dunfermline

6th placed Kilmarnock had a win in the Scottish Cup against Dundee with new boy Dean Shiels scoring. It was a treat for the Ayrshire club who have failed to win more than 1 of their previous 5 SPL matches. Dunfermline are even worse with 1 win in 11, and sitting rock bottom of the tables. One can only hope that the dire situation and recent form of both clubs will propel them into some kind of goal frenzy.

Rangers v Aberdeen

Ibrox paid tribute to David Weir for his great time spent at Rangers as he left this week and John Fleck also left the club on loan ,seen as a mistake by many of the Ibrox faithful. Celik has been brought in and talks with Sandaza have broken down. So the excellent form of Rangers since their loss to Celtic, including a 3-0 win and a 4-0 win, should continue on Saturday against a team who have failed to win at Ibrox since 1991. The Dons have recovered from the horrible start to the season they had and if they were to pull of a shock win they could join the ‘pack’ , but a loss and wins elsewhere could leave them back in the relegation climate that they so desperately want to avoid. Rangers have 3 home games in a row so will hope to build some momentum in their quest to catch Celtic at the top of the table and they will want to start by crushing an old enemy in the shape of Aberdeen.

By Simon Bienkowski

You can follow him on Twitter @simonbien

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