Weekend previews

Friday 30th March 2012
gers mar 30h

Motherwell and Rangers get the weekend action under way at Fir Park on Saturday in a key game in the race for second place in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League - live on ESPN at 12 noon.

Depending on the outcome of that game, Celtic could clinch the title on Sunday when they face in-form St Johnstone while Inverness CT take on Hibernian later that afternoon.

In the 3pm kick-offs on Saturday, Dundee United are looking for a sixth straight SPL win against bottom club Dunfermline, Kilmarnock need a victory at St Mirren to keep alive their top-six hopes and Hearts have the chance to seal a top-half finish when they entertain Aberdeen.

Motherwell (3) v Rangers (2) – Saturday, 12 noon
Referee: Craig Thomson
TV: Highlights BBC & Sky Sports
William Hill odds: Home 13/8, Away 11/8, Draw 21/10
Last SPL meeting: Rangers 3-0 Motherwell, 02/01/12
Overall SPL record: Rangers 36 wins, Motherwell 3 wins, 9 draws
Last five SPL form: Motherwell WLWWL Rangers LWLLW
Motherwell will go level on points with Rangers if they beat the Ibrox club for the first time since Boxing Day 2002 when James McFadden scored the only goal at Fir Park. Ally McCoist’s men go into the game on a high after beating Celtic 3-2 in the Old Firm derby and their last five meetings with the Steelmen have brought victories of 4-1, 6-0, 5-0, 3-0 and 3-0. Stuart McCall’s team went down 2-0 at Kilmarnock on Saturday but have won five league games on the trot on home soil.

Dundee United (5) v Dunfermline (12) - Saturday, 3pm
Referee: John Beaton
TV: Highlights BBC & Sky Sports
William Hill odds: Home 2/5, Away 7/1, Draw 7/2
Last SPL meeting: Dunfermline 1-4 Dundee United, 29/10/11
Overall SPL record: Dunfermline 14 wins, Dundee United 8 wins, 10 draws
Last five SPL form: Dundee United WWWWW Dunfermline DLLLD

United are looking good for a Europa League spot after notching up five straight SPL wins, conceding just one goal in the process – their most recent outing was a 2-0 triumph at Hibernian. Dunfermline earned a valuable point in a 1-1 draw with St Mirren in Jim Jefferies’ first match in charge to edge to within three points of Hibernian. The Pars’ four wins have all come away from home, including a 1-0 victory at Tannadice early in the season when Paul Burns scored.

Hearts (6) v Aberdeen (8) – Saturday, 3pm
Referee: Willie Collum
TV: BBC ALBA delayed transmission
William Hill odds: Home 23/20, Away 13/5, Draw 11/5
Last SPL meeting: Aberdeen 0-0 Hearts, 28/12/11
Overall SPL record: Hearts 25 wins, Aberdeen 11 wins, 12 draws
Last five SPL form: Hearts LLWWL Aberdeen DDDLL

Hearts will seal a top-six place if they beat Aberdeen at Tynecastle and even a draw is likely to prove enough given their vastly superior goal difference over a Kilmarnock team five points behind them with two pre-split games to play. Paul Sergio’s men defeated Hibernian in their last home game but lost 2-1 away to St Johnstone at the weekend. Hearts won this fixture 3-0 in August and face an Aberdeen outfit who are without a win in their last six games, although four have been draws.

St Mirren (9) v Kilmarnock (7) – Saturday, 3pm
Referee: Brian Colvin
TV: Highlights BBC & Sky Sports
William Hill odds: Home 7/5, Away 21/10, Draw 21/10
Last SPL meeting: Kilmarnock 2-1 St Mirren, 02/01/12
Overall SPL record: Kilmarnock 11 wins, St Mirren 6 wins, 6 draws
Last five SPL form: St Mirren DDDLD Kilmarnock LLDDW

Kilmarnock need all three points to retain any hopes of making the top six but the Scottish Communities League Cup holders have won only twice on their travels this season, beating Hearts and Rangers 1-0. St Mirren have now gone 11 matches without a win since defeating Rangers on Christmas Eve – the longest barren run in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League this term.

Celtic (1) v St Johnstone (5) – Sunday, 12.45pm
Referee: George Salmond
TV: Live on Sky Sports
William Hill odds: Home 2/5, Away 15/2, Draw 17/5
Last SPL meeting: St Johnstone 0-2 Celtic, 18/12/11
Overall SPL record: Celtic 17 wins, St Johnstone 4 wins, 1 draw
Last five SPL form: Celtic WWWDL St Johnstone WDWWW

Celtic need to better Rangers’ result against Motherwell to win the title for the first time since 2007/08, with their lead at the top having been trimmed to 18 points by Sunday’s derby defeat. Neil Lennon’s men have lost just once at home but that was 1-0 to Saints back in August. Steve Lomas’ side are up to fourth after a run of three straight wins and have lost just two of 16 away matches.

Inverness CT (10) v Hibernian (11) – Sunday, 3pm
Referee: Bobby Madden
TV: Live on ESPN
William Hill odds: Home 23/20, Away 12/5, Draw 23/10
Last SPL meeting: Hibernian 1-1 Inverness CT, 28/12/11
Overall SPL record: Inverness CT 10 wins, Hibernian 7 wins, 4 draws
Last five SPL form: Inverness CT LLDWL Hibernian LWDLL
Inverness CT ended their recent poor run by beating Aberdeen 1-0 at Pittodrie last weekend but they were beaten 1-0 by St Johnstone at the Caledonian Stadium on Wednesday and missed the chance to jump two places in the table. Hibs won 1-0 at Inverness in early August but have picked up just one point from their last three SPL matches and haven’t scored in any of them.

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William Hill odds subject to change – latest prices here

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