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Scottish Premiership weekend preview: Saturday 10th August 2013

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There are only two games being played this afternoon, at Tannadice and at Dingwall. Celtic and St Mirren have no game due to the Glasgow side’s trip to Dublin to face Liverpool. There are three Premiership games tomorrow and all five fixtures look like being very close affairs. To today’s fixtures for now and starting with DUNDEE UTD V INVERNESS CALEY THISTLE.

The home side kicked off the season with a credible goalless draw at Firhill last Friday. As far as 0-0 draws go, this was a truly scintillating affair, with both teams going hammer and tongs at each other from start to finish.

ICT, on the other hand, ran out 3-0 winners at home against St Mirren, with all three goals coming in the second half. The all important first goal, however, was the result of a penalty that should never have been. As the well-worn football cliche states, “Goals change games” and this pathetic penalty award certainly played a great part in allowing ICT to eventually run out comfortable winners.

Both teams have full squads to choose from except Dundee United’s Gavin Gunning, who is still recovering from injury, while there is a return of the prodigal son, David Goodwillie, making his home league debut for the Tannadice outfit. He had a few chances last week and should be much sharper for that experience. ICT are top of the table due to a superior goal difference. They will once again be formidable opponents for all PRP teams this season.

Prediction: very little form to go on and very difficult to call – ergo a DRAW.

ICT’S neighbours are also in action this afternoon. At Dingwall ROSS COUNTY V PARTICK THISTLE. It is last season’s new boys against this season’s counterparts. It is the first time these two teams play against each other in the top-tier. The Jags provided a great thrill at Maryhill in that fantastic game last Friday. Had they been given the stonewall penalty denied them, they may have collected all three points.

County shocked Celtic with a cracking early goal at Parkhead last Saturday. It wasn’t until the 85th minute, when Stokes scored his second, that Celtic clinched victory against the stuffy Highlanders. If truth be told, Celtic should have scored enough goals to win three games. At the end of the day, as I stated last week, Celtic will be favourites in all domestic games they play. It is what the other teams do against each other which will influence their progress this season.

Brittain and Sproule are still suspended for County. Defender Scott Boyd may return for the home side, however. For The Jags, Kallum Higginbotham may play right from the start, having just signed a two and a half-year contract. Defender Aaron Muirhead and midfielder Steven Lawless may also start for Thistle. Kris Doolan and Jordan McMillan are struggling to make it for the Maryhill men.

Prediction: once again, a very close game to call, and once again I am tipping a DRAW!

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