Andy Harrow of The Terrace Scottish football podcast picks four games to look out for across the SPFL this weekend…
Celtic v Rangers – Ladbrokes Premiership (Sunday, 12 noon)
Thirty three points currently separate Celtic and Rangers and both go into Sunday’s fixture, live on Sky Sports, with different aims. Celtic, who are unbeaten domestically all season, can move a step closer to the title and make it four wins from four against the Ibrox men this season, while Rangers are looking to close the six-point gap on second-placed Aberdeen. The games this season have been thrilling and packed with talking points and this weekend’s match will likely be no different.
Last encounter: Rangers 1-2 Celtic (31.12.16)
It was to prove a happy end to the year for Celtic with a Hogmanay victory at Ibrox. In a frantic game, Kenny Miller put the hosts ahead from close range but Moussa Dembele levelled before half-time when he found himself free in the box from a corner and lashed the ball past Wes Foderingham. Celtic created numerous chances in the second half but had to wait until the 70th minute for the winning goal – Scott Sinclair scoring a carbon copy of Miller’s first-half strike. Even then, Miller had a late chance to bring Rangers level but his shot hit the post and rebounded clear.
Morton v Queen of the South – Ladbrokes Championship (Saturday, 5.15pm)
The ALBA televised Championship game pits together two of the sides bidding for a promotion play-off spot. Morton have been in excellent form all season and have looked a good bet for a top-four finish for much of the campaign but Queen of the South still have an outside chance of making the cut – they are seven points back but have played two games more.
Last encounter: Queen of the South 3-0 Morton (04.02.17)
Queens can go into Saturday evening’s game with confidence following their ultimately comprehensive win at Palmerston last month. It took until the 71st minute for the home side to break the deadlock through Derek Lyle but goals from Kyle Jacobs and Joe Thomson in the last seven minutes added a gloss to the score.
Albion Rovers v Airdrieonians – Ladbrokes League 1 (Saturday, 3.00pm)
A Lanarkshire derby is always a fixture to savour and, in such a tight division, it’s set to be a fascinating game. Albion Rovers sit only a point ahead of bottom-placed Stenhousemuir but, remarkably, also lie only six points off the top four. As it happens, the team holding on to the final promotion play-off place is their local rivals and visitors on Saturday.
Last encounter: Airdrie 1-2 Albion Rovers (02.01.17)
The away side has won each of the three fixtures between these sides this season. Rovers won 2-0 at the Excelsior in September and Airdrie won 2-1 at the Exsel Group Stadium in November. In the last meeting Steven Boyd put Albion Rovers ahead on 15 minutes but Adam Brown equalised 10 minutes later. Boyd, on loan from Hamilton, struck again a minute before half-time and Darren Young’s men held on to claim a valuable three points.
Forfar Athletic v Edinburgh City – Ladbrokes League 1 (Saturday, 3.00pm)
Not so long ago, Forfar looked unassailable at the top of Ladbrokes League 2. A 1-0 win over nearest challengers Arbroath on February 4 meant the Loons were 11 points clear but three draws and a defeat since have cut the gap to six points. Edinburgh City, meanwhile, sit only a place above the relegation play-off spot and a win would ease their fears over being caught by Cowdenbeath, who are seven points adrift.
Last encounter: Edinburgh City 0-1 Forfar (21.01.17)
A David Cox penalty was the only thing that separated the sides last time they met. That result made it seven games without defeat for the Loons, but for Edinburgh it was the second loss in a run of seven without a victory. City broke that run on the last day of February, with a 2-1 win over Cowdenbeath at Central Park.