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Scottish Premier League – Week 2 previews

Dundee United v Aberdeen

Aberdeen’s win over United in October was only their second over the Tannadice side in eleven meetings. However the only defeats United have suffered in their last ten games have been against the Old Firm. Peter Pawlett returns from suspension for the Dons, who hope to have Fraser Fyvie available, while United could give new signing Richie Ryan his debut. Their youngster Scott Allan will travel south for transfer talks with West Bromwich Albion next week.

Dunfermline Athletic v Celtic

Dunfermline are the only side in British senior football without a home league win this season and their prospects of changing that statistic look bleak – they’ve lost their last eight games against Celtic and haven’t beaten them at East End Park in thirty meetings. Table-topping Celtic have won nine games in a row. Celtic’s Beram Kayal is out for a month with an ankle injury sustained in the midweek Old Firm game. Swedish international defender Mikael Lustig has completed his move to Celtic from Norwegians Rosenborg Trondheim but won’t be involved. Dunfermline are set to be without Joe Cardle who has a virus, and knee injury victim Martin Hardie.

Hibernian v Hearts

post5aPat Fenlon is still searching for his first victory as Hibs manager and will know the Capital derby would be the perfect place to do it. However Hibs’ home record in these games is poor – just one win in the last nine Easter Road meetings. Hibs hope to do a deal with Wolves, who’ve told loan striker Leigh Griffiths he can leave Molineux, and are awaiting international clearance for Eoin Doyle. Hearts made five changes for the midweek visit to Pittodrie and Paulo Sergio is likely to reshuffle again, though Jamie Hamill and Ian Black are doubtful. Jason Thomson has returned to the club from his loan spell at Dunfermline.

Inverness CT v St Johnstone

Saints go into the game on a good run of form, having won four of their last seven games. Kevin Moon has been given a new 18-month deal with Saints. Caley have Richie Foran missing through suspension but have won only one of their last five at home and haven’t kept a clean sheet all season. Chris Millar of Saints is struggling with a back injury.

Kilmarnock v St Mirren

Killie have taken only one point from their last three games and are set to be without defender Rory McKeown after he limped off against St Johnstone in midweek. Jim Goodwin misses out for Saints as he serves the final game of his three-game suspension, but they hope Graham Carey will make it. Killie won all three meetings of the sides last season but lost 3-0 to the Paisley Saints in September.

Rangers v Motherwell

250th league meeting of the sides and Motherwell have lost 24 goals in their last six games against Rangers. They haven’t won at Ibrox since May 1997. Stuart McCall’s side will be without Steve Jennings who has to serve the second match of his suspension following the postponement of Wednesday’s game against Dunfermline but Dorin Goian is available after suspension for Rangers, who will be without Steven Whittaker who’s sidelined with a groin injury. Motherwell have offered a short-term deal to Estonian striker Henrik Ojamaa

Match Previews Week 2

Celtic v Kilmarnock

Celtic defender Daniel Majstorovic is out for six weeks with a fractured cheekbone but fellow defenders Emilio Izaguirre and Kelvin Wilson are close to a comeback after coming through a midweek bounce game against Morton. Killie have offered right-back Alex Pursehouse a new deal but loan striker Dean Shiels is likely to be ruled out with an ankle injury. James Fowler returns for Kilmarnock after missing last weekend’s draw against Dundee United through suspension. Kilmarnock have won at Celtic Park just once in 75 years – that came in December 1955 – but they drew on their last visit there a year ago this week.

Dundee United v Hibernian

post8aHibs are searching for new manager Pat Fenlon’s first win but they have won on only one of their last ten visits to Tannadice. Loan striker Leigh Griffiths returns for Hibs after missing last week’s defeat at Aberdeen through suspension. The Easter Road club are on the trail of Sligo Rovers striker Eoin Doyle. United have won three, drawn three and lost three of their last nine games.

Dunfermline Athletic v St Johnstone

Dunfermline are aiming to improve a record that has seen them take one point from their last five games but the omens are against them – there hasn’t been a home winner in the last ten meetings of these clubs. The home side have a sweat over goalkeeper Paul Gallacher, who dislocated his shoulder against Hearts last weekend, while Saints striking duo Francisco Sandaza and Cillian Sheridan are still doubtful for Steve Lomas.

Hearts v Motherwell

Motherwell will be without midfielder Steve Jennings unless the club appeal the two-game ban imposed by the SFA after his clash with St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin. Hearts haven’t beaten Motherwell in any of the Lanarkshire side’s last four visits to Tynecastle – and Stuart McCall’s on-form side have won their last five away games. Hearts’ midfielder Eggert Jonsson has this week agreed a switch to Wolves.

Inverness C. T. v Aberdeen

Caley Thistle have won only two of their last nine games but can take heart from their battling performance at Ibrox last weekend. Terry Butcher has loan midfielder David Davis available again following his suspension. Aberdeen’s Fraser Fyvie and Andy Considine both return after suspension but Peter Pawlett will be banned if the club accept his two-match ban for simulation last weekend. This is the 21st SPL meeting of the sides and Caley Thistle have only won three of them.

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St Mirren v Rangers

Home skipper Jim Goodwin starts a three-game suspension after being caught punching Motherwell’s Steve Jennings by the SFA but Saints have been boosted by Lee Mair’s return from a hamstring injury. Sone Aluko returns for Rangers after suspension, while Romanian defender Dorin Goian could also be back after illness. Saints haven’t beaten Rangers at home since Stephen McGinn’s winner in October 2008 and haven’t won any of the last thirteen meetings of the sides – although Steven Thompson’s late goal did earn them a point at Ibrox in October. Rangers have taken 19 points out of 24 since then.