By Stefan Bienkowski

We’ve got a really tasty Premiership round of fixtures this weekend, with almost every single clash showing up as something of a ‘six pointer’ from the very top of the table to the relegation battle at the very bottom.

 

As such, our xG model is predicting a lot of shared points this weekend in what will undoubtedly be the tightest matchday we’ve probably had this season. Let’s run through the games and see where we see the results going.

 

 


 

Celtic v Rangers

 

xG prediction: 3-2 – Home win

 

This weekend’s top clash will undoubtedly be Saturday’s early kick off between Celtic and Rangers. At Parkhead, Brendan Rodgers’ side will, as you would expect, be looking to pick up their second win over their Glasgow rivals already this season.

 

 

Although Rangers have perhaps looked better on the road this season and Celtic have look a little complacent at home, there’s no denying that Rodgers’ side seem to take a notable step up when tasked with these big games. In 11 league games against both Aberdeen and Rangers since Rodgers took over, Celtic have dropped just two points. Saturday should be no exception.

 

Writer’s prediction: Home win


Aberdeen v Hearts

 

xG prediction: 1-1 – Draw

 

Another exciting clash this weekend will come at Pittodrie, where second-placed Aberdeen welcome a resurgent and in-form Hearts. Both sides will be hoping to take something from this clash but it’s undoubtedly Derek McInnes’ side that hold the advantage here.

 

 

Craig Levein’s side have rebuilt their form off the back of strong performances at Tynecastle and it shows in their contrasting fortunes this season. Their points-per-game ratio at home is a respectable 1.54 points per game, yet that figure drops to 1.2 on the road.

 

Writer’s prediction: Home win


Hibernian v Kilmarnock

xG prediction: 1-1 – Draw

 

To say Kilmarnock are on form right now would be something of an understatement. Not only have Steve Clarke’s side gone five games without defeat, but they’ve also racked up more points in their last 10 games than any side outside of the Old Firm – in fact they sit second alongside Rangers.

 

 

A large part of that has been down to Killie’s away form. With nine points from their last five games on the road, they go in to Saturday’s clash at Easter Road confident of taking at least a point off Neil Lennon’s side. And so they should be.

 

Writer’s prediction: Draw


Motherwell v Hamilton

 

xG prediction: 2-2 – Draw

 

When it comes to teams desperately needing points to turn their form around few are as desperate as Motherwell and Hamilton at the moment. The Steelmen have just one point to show for their last five league games, while Martin Canning’s own side have just four.

 

 

Yet at Fir Park Stephen Robinson can still take confidence. Despite a recent dip in form, Motherwell still have the fifth best home record in the division and face a Hamilton side that have won just three of their last 10 away games. Is this weekend the moment Motherwell stop the rot?

 

Writer’s prediction: Home win


Partick Thistle v Ross County

 

xG prediction: 1-1 – Draw

 

This bottom of the table clash comes with immense importance to both sides, as Partick Thistle hope to leapfrog Ross County out of twelfth place just before the end of the year. And looking at the stats they have a pretty good chance of doing that.

 

 

Over the past five home games Thistle have picked up 12 points. That’s a tally only bested by Celtic and suggests County – with one draw and four defeats in their last five away games – may find their tip to Glasgow somewhat troublesome.

 

Writer’s prediction: Home win


St Johnstone v Dundee

 

xG prediction: 1-1 –  Draw

 

Tommy Wright must be sick of the sight of McDiarmid Park. Although St Johnstone are doing absolutely fine in the Premiership at the moment, their home form has undoubtedly dragged them down to sixth place and could cause some more trouble this weekend against Dundee.

 

 

In their last 10 games, St Johnstone have won 10 points on the road and just two in front of their own fans. And against a Dundee side that have picked up impressive results against Motherwell and Thistle of late it would be advisable to bet against a Saints win on this occasion.

 

Writer’s prediction: Draw

 


 

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