In this article…
Hearts overpriced as they travel to Perth
The opening day of the Scottish Premiership season brings with it the opportunity of backing two overpriced away teams. While Aberdeen look very good value at 2.20 to win at Livingston, the outstanding Gem Bet of the weekend is undoubtedly at McDiarmid Park, where St Johnstone play host to Hearts.
The selection is coming in at 2.30 on Paddy Power, and you can get access to these generous odds by signing up using the link below. Not only will you get access to this Gem Bet, but you can also stake up to £30 on the selection, and get your cash back if it loses.
💎 Gem Bet: St Johnstone v Hearts (Scottish Premiership)
St Johnstone v Hearts
The Perth Saints have played four competitive matches this season in the League Cup and have lost three of those, including both home fixtures. Last weekend, they suffered a 4-0 embarrassment against Stirling Albion that many supporters have claimed to be the club’s worst home result since moving to McDiarmid Park in 1989.
Although it was effectively a meaningless match for St Johnstone, and they started with a mix of youth and experience, the manner in which they were swept aside by a club two levels below them was alarming. Manager Steven MacLean even tried to stop the rot at half-time by bringing on Andy Considine and Ryan McGowan, two highly experienced players, but they still conceded another couple of goals.
Defensively, they were woeful, they gifted possession away too cheaply in midfield, while their only chances of note came from mistakes that the part-time side made. And this was not a one-off: St Johnstone also lost to third-tier Stenhousemuir 1-0 away from home and 2-1 at home to Championship side Ayr.
💎 Gem Bet: Hearts win (v St Johnstone)
This feels overpriced, I’m unsure if the price will hold by kick-off on Saturday.
St Johnstone are without 10 players due to injury, only one of those is expected back by this weekend.
I’ve shared more research below.
🧵 // THREAD pic.twitter.com/NOtnhpfuOV
— Andy’s Football Tips (@AndyRobsonTips) July 31, 2023
These results have come about partially because of painfully slow progress in the transfer window, but also because MacLean’s side is riddled with injury problems. Last weekend, he claimed he was without 10 players because of injury, with the midfield and attack particularly hard hit as the likes of Ali Crawford, Graham Carey, Chris Kane and Nicky Wright missed out. Among the wounded, only Drey Wright is expected to make his way back into a squad that is threadbare, bereft of confidence and lacking in quality.
Hearts, meanwhile, have yet to show their hand this season, with European qualification keeping them out of the formative stages of the League Cup. They were competitive against a strong Leeds team in a 1-0 home defeat in a friendly last weekend, which bodes well for the season ahead. This game was a chance for Frankie Kent and Calem Nieuwenhof to debut, with the former looking particularly accomplished in defence, where he will be required to play until Craig Halkett is fully fit.
Indeed, the Edinburgh side still have the hangover from last season’s injury crisis, but Liam Boyce and Beni Baningime have both been in friendly action again in a major boost to Steven Naismith’s options. Meanwhile, Kyosuke Tagawa and Kenneth Vargas are set to arrive this week, although it is hard to imagine that either will get a huge number of minutes here.
It may be some weeks before Hearts show their true attacking potential, particularly after losing 13-goal attacker Josh Ginnelly to Swansea in the summer, but if St Johnstone’s recent performances are anything to go by, they have every chance to start the season with a win against an opponent that they have beaten four times out of the last five, including 3-2 on their last visit to Perth. All this points to this game being a perfect opportunity for our first Scottish Gem Bet of the season.
Haven’t got a Paddy Power account? You’re in luck…
Sign up to Paddy Power and get a full refund if your first bet loses. Grab an account through the offer below, back the St Johnstone v Hearts Gem Bet with £30, and you’ll get your stake refunded in full if it loses.
18+ please gamble responsibly.