Queen’s Park v Cove Rangers (Championship)
Once again, Queen’s Park find themselves generously priced on the Over 2.5 goals market and once again it is a bet that is difficult to ignore.
Queen’s appear to have built a reputation with the bookmakers of being a low-scoring side thanks to the slew of games they played last season that produced few goals. Two factors have changed since then. Firstly, they are playing on a far better home surface at Ochilview, Stenhousemuir while they await the completion of their ground, whereas they played on a ploughed field at Firhill last year. Secondly, they have a more attacking manager in the form of Owen Coyle.
Six of their eight fixtures this season have finished with three of more goals, while the two that did not both finished 1-1. Remarkably, in every game they have played this term, both teams have found the net.
Cove Rangers are not quite so prolific yet still have a 4-3 balance of games that have produced upwards of 2.5 goals. Moreover, they have only been shutout in one and have only kept one cleansheet.
Indeed, so much has changed since last season, the fact that three of their four matches failed to hit this mark can almost be disregarded.
Queen’s Park games this season have been laden with goals, and there is nothing to suggest that this game will be any different. There is scope for backing both teams to score, but the better value is on over 2.5 goals in the game.
Alloa v Peterhead (League One)
Both of these sides have made disappointing starts to the season, but there’s little doubt that Alloa come into this match as strong favourites.
The home side have lost three of their four matches so far this season, but defeats against Dunfermline and Airdrie away from home were results that were not entirely unexpected. The one shock came at home a fortnight ago against FC Edinburgh, when they were beaten 4-2. Although key man Stefan Scougall is a doubt, Peterhead are the ideal opponent for them.
The Blue Toon have been simply woeful this season. They have played eight competitive games and have lost seven of those, drawing the other. Indeed, Jim McInally’s men have conceded at least two goals in every fixture they have played. Allied to this poor run of form, they have an intimidating injury list that sees three of their leading attacking players sidelined.
Alloa manager Brian Rice, meanwhile, is seeking to strengthen his group prior to this game, specifically in attack. He has dropped a hint that a new face in the team is close – and that would be a major boost prior to this game.
The Wasps have won their last couple of games against Peterhead 1-0, but given the low ebb their opponents find themselves in, plus the dreadful defensive record they have, more goals should be expected in this match.
Albion Rovers v Annan (League Two)
Albion Rovers are overpriced in their home encounter against Annan, who have been one of the most disappointing sides in the league early in the season.
Rovers lost their first three matches on the spin at the beginning of the season but did play three of the favourites for the league in the form of Stenhousemuir, Dumbarton and East Fife. They hinted at their competitiveness in these matches by losing each match by just a single goal, while their loss against Stenhousemuir on the opening weekend was rather undeserved.
Last weekend, the Coatbridge side produced a significant upset as they went to Bonnyrigg and picked up a 2-0 win thanks to an own goal and a Charlie Reilly strike.
By contrast, Annan also have three points but they have had a slightly easier run of fixtures and have been less competitive. They notably lost their last away match 4-0 against Dumbarton and were outplayed in a 2-1 loss against Stirling Albion last weekend, a fixture in which goalkeeper Allan Fleming allowed them to keep the score down.
On top of this, the visiting side have a home match against Aberdeen in the League Cup to look forward to on Tuesday, and there may be an element of their players starting to look forward to that match.
Certainly, there has been little in the visitors’ league performances this season to suggest they deserve that status, particularly as they have only won two of their last six against Rovers (albeit their last two visits to Cliftonhill).
Dundee United v Celtic (Premiership)
Sunday sees arguably the coldest team in the Scottish Premiership host the hottest, with Dundee United’s home fixture against Celtic.
The Tangarines have been dreadful since a shock 1-0 win over AZ in the Conference League on August 4. Since then, they have lost all four of their competitive fixtures, scoring just one goal and conceding 15. Their last couple of matches were a 4-1 mauling at Hearts, which was followed by a 3-0 loss at home against St Mirren last weekend, which has manager Jack Ross already under pressure. If his side fall behind early in this game, things could turn very ugly.
The timing of playing Celtic could scarcely be any worse. Ange Postecoglou’s side have threatened to hit a very high level at times this season, notably running out 5-0 winners in their last away match against Kilmarnock.
Meanwhile, United are an opponent that Celtic have fared well against in recent years. Five of their last seven victories over the Tayside team have been attained by at least three goals, including a couple of 3-0 victories last season at Tannadice. Although the teams have since drawn 1-1 in the City of Discovery, that was a dead tie for Celtic, who had already been crowned champions by that point.
Celtic have not particular selection problems before this match and will field a weakened team in their midweek League Cup fixture against Ross County, so expect them to attack this match with all guns blazing.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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