Andy Walker's Scottish Premiership predictions

Sky Sports’ Andy Walker offers his predictions as we head into another weekend of Scottish Premiership action.

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Dundee United vs Hamilton Academical – Saturday, 3pm

Brian Rice takes his Hamilton side to Tannadice on the back of losing their last four league games and conceding 20 goals in the process. It’s a tough time for Accies having to do without David Templeton, Charlie Trafford and Jamie Hamilton and the priority has to be to stop shipping as many goals.

Given the strikers they have at their disposal, United should be scoring more often and there will be more focus on Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland to get on the scoresheet more often with a European Championships now on the horizon.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 2-0

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Hibernian vs Celtic – Saturday, 3pm

I saw Hibs at Pittodrie recently and it was a poor performance from them that angered Jack Ross. His team are capable of so much more and you only have to look back at the level of play they had at home to Rangers when they earned a 2-2 draw to realise what they are capable of.

To get a home win, much will depend on how much Martin Boyle, Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge can influence the play. Neil Lennon, going back to his previous club, will know all about Hibs’ qualities and will look for the same level of performance that his team gave in their last away outing, winning 4-1 at Motherwell.

It’s still a strong squad to choose from but even better if he can get more from Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-3

Kilmarnock vs Ross County – Saturday, 3pm

Victories over Clyde and Dumbarton in the League Cup have lifted the spirits at Rugby Park with players getting some much-needed game time. Like so many strikers capable of playing for Scotland, can Eamonn Brophy improve his game to score more regularly and put himself in Steve Clarke’s thoughts for the Euros?

After a promising start to the season, Ross County have struggled for results in the top flight and it’s a tough schedule for them with Rangers, Aberdeen and Celtic all to play in the coming weeks. Striker Oli Shaw is in impressive form, scoring five in his last six games, hopefully he can shake off a knock he took last weekend in a League Cup tie.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 3-0

Livingston vs St Mirren – Saturday, 3pm

This is a huge game for Jim Goodwin and his St Mirren side. With no wins in the last seven games, they are desperate for a boost. Sure, they have three games in hand over Livingston but another loss here would see them rooted to the bottom two and a fight for survival.

Struggling to score goals and consistently losing by a narrow margin is draining the spirit of the players. They need only look to the first game of the season between the two sides when they won through a solitary goal from Richard Tait to give them confidence.

Livingston are hardly in the best of form but Gary Holt knows how vital a win would be to give his team some breathing space.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 0-0

St Johnstone vs Motherwell – Saturday, 3pm

A home win would mean back-to-back league victories for Callum Davidson’s men for the first time this season. Stevie May has been scoring regularly in the League Cup and if he could turn that form into bread and butter league business, Saints would be climbing the table and threatening to get into the top six.

Motherwell signed off before the international break with a heavy defeat at home to Celtic but they created chances and will be confident of winning on the road again, just as they did at Aberdeen and Livingston. I was at the game between these two at Fir Park in September when Alan Campbell scored the only goal, it should be just as tight this weekend.

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Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-1

Rangers vs Aberdeen – Sunday, 12pm, live on Sky Sports Football

Aberdeen were worthy of their point against Celtic recently and it was a performance that proves they have the ability to cause an upset on a big occasion. Having said that, Rangers hammered eight goals past Hamilton in their last home fixture and will be confident of another three points.



Rangers
Aberdeen


Ross McCrorie will be a big miss for them and injuries to Niall McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Johnny Hayes won’t help their cause either. A Ryan Kent goal at Pittodrie on the first day of the season was all that separated the teams then and I imagine this one will be just as tight.

Steven Gerrard has managed his players to 20 games without defeat but their biggest strength is undoubtedly how often they keep a clean sheet.

Andy Walker’s prediction: 1-0

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