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Scottish Premiership - Football: Weekend preview

After a disappointing week in Europe for Scottish clubs, the focus turns back to domestic duties this weekend, with a full programme scheduled in the Premiership.

Celtic, Rangers and Hearts will all be licking their wounds after suffering defeats in Europe, but they cannot afford to dwell on those losses, particularly as the trio will be back in continental action next week.

However, before that, it is the bread and butter of league action that takes centre stage, with Celtic currently holding a two-point advantage over Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the standings.

Leaders fancied for Perth win

What

St Johnstone v Celtic

Where

McDiarmid Park, Perth

When

12:30, Saturday 8th October 2022

How to watch

Sky Sports Main Event

Odds

St Johnstone 12/1, Draw 6/1, Celtic 1/5 

Celtic remain top of the Premiership standings despite a dip in form over recent weeks that has seen them win only one of their last five matches, albeit three of those games have come in the Champions League.

That run includes Wednesday's 3-1 reverse in Germany against RB Leipzig and, with the Bundesliga outfit set to pitch up at Parkhead for the return fixture on Tuesday, the Bhoys may well have their focus elsewhere when they take on St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off.

The Bhoys do have an impressive record against the Saints, as they have won on their last 11 visits to Perthshire, while they recorded a 7-0 victory when the two sides last met at Parkhead back in April.

Ange Postecoglou may choose to rotate his starting XI with the Leipzig clash in mind, and he will certainly have to do without captain Callum McGregor, who suffered a knee injury during the week and faces a "fairly significant" period on the sidelines.

First-choice centre backs Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt are also likely to be absent due to their ongoing fitness issues.

Callum Davidson's hosts were beaten at Kilmarnock during the week, a result that left them ninth in the standings, and despite Celtic's injury concerns and European distractions, it is difficult to see the Saints keeping their visitors in check.

A Celtic win and both teams to score therefore looks tempting at 15/8.

Rangers face in-form Saints

What

Rangers v St Mirren

Where

Ibrox, Glasgow

When

15:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

Odds

Rangers 1/5, Draw 5/1, St Mirren 14/1 

Rangers were far from disgraced during their 2-0 Champions League defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, a result that leaves Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side bottom of the Group A standings and without a point ahead of their return match with the Reds on Wednesday.

However, before the Gers can fully turn their attentions back to Jurgen Klopp and co, they must first navigate their way past an in-form St Mirren at Ibrox.

Saints have won five of their last six Premiership games, a run that includes inflicting a first domestic defeat of the season on Celtic, while it has also enabled them to rise up to third in the standings.

Stephen Robinson's team would move to within a point of Rangers with victory on Saturday, but they would have to rewrite the history books to do so, as they have not beaten the Gers in Glasgow since November 1991.

This has certainly been a fixture the hosts have dominated over recent years, as they have won the last five meetings between the two sides, while they have triumphed in all four of their league matches to date this term on home turf, averaging three-goals-per-game in the process.

Another big victory could well be on the cards for the Gers on Saturday and they can be backed at 8/11 to win and there be over 2.5 goals in the match.

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Terrible start for the Terrors

What

Dundee United v Aberdeen

Where

Tannadice Park, Dundee

When

18:00, Saturday 8th October 2022

Odds

Dundee Utd 13/5, Draw 23/10, Aberdeen 21/20 

There is no other way of looking at it, Dundee United have made a disastrous start to the new season, having suffered a humiliating loss to AZ Alkmaar in the Europa Conference League back in August, while they are yet to win a match in the Premiership this term.

The Terrors currently prop up the top-flight standings after collecting just two points from their opening eight games, and they have seemingly not received a new manager bounce following the sacking of head coach Jack Ross and subsequent appointment of Liam Fox.

United are 13/5 to secure their first league win of the season when they welcome Aberdeen to Tannadice on Saturday evening. The Dons sit fifth in the standings and were 4-1 winners over Kilmarnock last time out.

Round-up of the rest

The rest of Saturday's Premiership action includes in-form Hibernian looking to make it four wins on the bounce when they welcome Motherwell to Easter Road.

The visitors themselves were 5-0 winners at Ross County during the week.

That defeat for County means they have now lost seven of their last 10 matches across all competitions, but they are 16/5 to buck that trend and take all three points when they visit Livingston in another of Saturday's afternoon kick-offs.

Sunday's Premiership offering comes from Rugby Park, where hosts Kilmarnock will be looking to capitalise on a potential European hangover for Hearts.

The Jambos were beaten 3-0 at home by Italian giants Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League during the week, but they have won two on the bounce on their travels and can be backed at 6/5 to get the better of Killie.

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