In the pundits’ predictions sections of the Scottish daily newspapers, how many of them at the start of the season, tipped both Caley and County to be in the top six after the split? None of them would be a likely answer to that question.
Yes, the split is still five games away, but in the ‘mini-league’ behind Celtic only Motherwell are in front of them. Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen, and Dundee Utd all lie behind them in what is a very tight tussle.
It is also true that both teams could drop out of the top six depending on the results of the forthcoming five games. Nevertheless, for both teams to be where they are on the 2nd March 2013 of the current campaign, great credit must be given to both Highland outfits.
And so to today’s game at Victoria Park. The ‘too close to call’ cliche could be very easily applied to this derby at Dingwall. Derek Adams has a full squad to choose from. The signing of Ivan Sproule looks so far to have been a master stroke by Adams, and the Irishman will surely relish the challenge presented in today’s match. Ross County are on a nine game unbeaten run at the moment. They also had that fantastic unbeaten run at the beginning of the season.
Derek Adams himself concedes that: “I think obviously we are the favourites because we are on a run of nine games unbeaten and we have won a lot of them.”
Brave words indeed from Adams!
Terry Butcher’s Inverness side come into this game having beaten Hearts away last Saturday and drawn at home with Dundee Utd during the week. Caley have been boosted by the return of both Gary Warren and club captain, Richie Foran.
The Caley manager praised the effort of both teams this season and hopes that both can make the top six, thus ensuring another Highland derby.
He commented: “We are both looking to finish in the top six and have another Highland derby. The financial rewards are huge and it would be a great reward after a fantastic season for both teams. It really does emphasise how strong football is in the Highlands now.”
How will today’s game go?
County have yet to prevail over Caley, yet their recent form is far superior than their Highland rivals. They also have home advantage for today’s game. Caley, however, are much more experienced at this level and are already a point in front of County. They also have a manager who absolutely detests defeat. So who will win this fantastic new Scottish derby?
Prediction: So sorry but it’s ‘too close to call!’