Match Previews Week 1

Aberdeen v Motherwell

Aberdeen have won only one of the last six Pittodrie games against Motherwell – and haven’t won any of the last eight meetings of the sides. The Dons have Ryan Jack and Rory Fallon missing through suspension while Kari Arnason is an injury doubt. For Motherwell defender Tim Clancy is missing as he starts a two-game suspension but they have re-signed former favourite Stephen Hughes.

Dundee United v Hearts

post7aIan Black serves the second game of his three-match ban, while Danny Grainger is also suspended. Former Hearts defender Robbie Neilson has signed a short-term deal with United. United have won six of the last seven Tannadice meetings of the sides – but they’ve also lost four of their last six games. Reserve keeper Filip Mentel has returned to Tannadice after being injured while on loan to Clyde.

Hibernian v Kilmarnock

Hibs have axed Colin Calderwood as manager and have lost their last three home games, while Killie lost six goals to Inverness Caley Thistle last time out. Kilmarnock this week have shown an interest in Cliftonville’s teenage striker Rory Donnelly as Kenny Shiels looks to improve his squad. His son, Dean Shiels has scored four goals in Kilmarnock’s last four Clydesdale Bank Premier League games.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Celtic

Terry Butcher has defenders Thomas Piermayr and Chris Hogg available after they missed the comprehensive win over Kilmarnock through suspension. His side have scored eight goals in their last two games. Celtic could be without midfielder Ki Sung Yeung after he ended up in hospital with a virus and missed South Korea’s two World Cup qualifiers. Celtic have won on five of their last ten visits to Inverness but haven’t won by more than a single goal since Craig Bellamy and Alan Thompson secured a 2-0 win in March 2005. It was Celtic’s 3-2 defeat on their last visit to Inverness in May that played a big part in them missing out on the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title. Shane Sutherland hasn’t scored for Caley Thistle since that game.

Rangers v St Johnstone

post7cRangers – who are taking former Aberdeen winger Sone Aluko on trial – will be without Gregg Wylde who starts a two-match suspension. It’ll be the first game in charge for new Saints boss Steve Lomas. Rangers transfer target and St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson could figure after coming through 70 minutes of a bounce match against Celtic last week. The midfielder hasn’t started a game since being injured against Livingston in the League Cup in August. Rangers have won twelve of their fourteen league games this season. Saints haven’t won on any of their last 28 league visits to Ibrox – their last came in April 1971.

St Mirren v Dunfermline Athletic

St Mirre have won only one of the last nine fixtures between the clubs. Their Aussie midfielder Aaron Mooy is taking injections to try and cure a troublesome back injury, while skipper Hugh Murray played half of a bounce game against Motherwell. Saints have won only one of their last four home games. Dunfermline’s win over Hibs was their first victory in ten games – and their next two away games after Paisley are at Ibrox and Parkhead. Pars’ Gary Mason serves the second match of his two-game ban.

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