Saturday, November 27, 2021

Scottish Premiership previews

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Teams news, stats and how to follow the ninth round of fixtures in the Scottish Premiership, with Rangers hosting Hearts and Celtic travelling to Motherwell.

Hibernian vs Dundee United – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Dundee United and Ross County

Team news

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross will check on some knocks ahead of the visit of Dundee United.

Kyle Magennis remains a doubt while Martin Boyle will be assessed after his exertions with Australia during the international window.

Ryan Porteous is suspended following his Ibrox red card while Christian Doidge (Achilles), Melker Hallberg (knee) and Sean Mackie (foot) are all expected to remain on the sidelines until November at least.

Dundee United’s on-loan attacker Marc McNulty is sidelined after hamstring surgery.

New striker Maxime Biamou, who signed until the end of the season after leaving Coventry, goes into the Terrors’ squad.

Liam Smith remains out with a knee complaint but boss Tam Courts hopes to see him back in the next fortnight.

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Opta stats

Hibernian are unbeaten in five home league matches (W3 D2), keeping a clean sheet in four of these matches.Dundee United have only lost one of their last seven league matches (W4 D2), and are unbeaten in three on the road (W1 D2) since losing at Aberdeen on the opening matchday of this season.Hibernian have conceded more headed goals than any other side in this season’s Scottish Premiership (six), accounting for 75% of their total (6/8). Last season, they had not conceded a single-headed goal in league competition.

Motherwell vs Celtic – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Motherwell

Team news

Motherwell have Sondre Solholm Johansen back from injury for the visit of Celtic. The Norwegian defender has been absent for three matches but trained all week.

Midfielder Robbie Crawford has been ruled out for four to six weeks with ankle ligament damage.

Celtic welcome back Mikey Johnston from injury for the cinch Premiership clash while their international players returned without injury.

Josip Juranovic is in the latter stages of his rehabilitation following a hamstring injury while James Forrest and Christopher Jullien are also nearing a return.

Karamoko Dembele (ankle) and Greg Taylor (shoulder) remain on the sidelines.

Opta stats

Celtic are unbeaten in 12 away league trips to Motherwell (W8 D4) since a 3-1 defeat in April 2013 under Neil Lennon. They have won their last three such visits, scoring 4+ goals each time (13 overall).Motherwell have won each of their last three home league games, last winning four in a row in December 2019Celtic’s 2-1 win at Aberdeen last time out ended their eight-game winless run away from home in the Scottish Premiership (D3 L5), and was also the first time they avoided defeat on the road in the division this season.Tony Watt’s four league goals have been worth seven points to Motherwell this season, more than any other player for any Scottish Premiership side.

Rangers vs Hearts – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Hibernian

Team news

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard will check on striker Kemar Roofe following his international duty exploits with Jamaica.

Ryan Kent (hamstring) could return to training next week while Ryan Jack is making his way back following calf surgery. Filip Helander remains on the sidelines with a knee problem and Nnamdi Ofoborh (heart issue) is also still missing.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has the luxury of a full-strength squad.

John Souttar is fit again after missing the last two matches with a thigh strain.

Opta stats

Rangers have won 22 of their last 23 home league matches, the exception being a 1-1 draw against Motherwell last month. However, they have conceded in both of their last two league games at Ibrox, last failing to keep a clean sheet in three in a row at home in the top-flight in September 2019.Hearts remain the only unbeaten side left in this season’s Scottish Premiership (P8 W5 D3 L0), while they have won both of their last two in the competition, last winning three in a row in the top-flight in September 2018 (run of five).Liam Boyce has scored in six of his last seven Scottish Premiership games, including each of his last three, netting a penalty in both of his last two. The last player to score in four consecutive top-flight appearances for Hearts was Kevin Kyle in January 2011.

Ross County vs St Mirren – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between Livingston and St Mirren

Team news

Ross County boss Malky Mackay has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the cinch Premiership meeting with St Mirren. Connor Randall (ankle) and Jake Vokins (foot) have stepped up their rehab work.

Both full-backs have been taking part in warm-up sessions and are close to joining full training.

St Mirren are close to a full squad with defender Charles Dunne returning from a hamstring problem.

Greg Kiltie is making good progress in his recovery from a knee injury, while Ethan Erhahon and Curtis Main have shaken off knocks. Goalkeeper Peter Urminsky remains on the treatment table.

Opta stats

Ross County remain winless in this season’s Scottish Premiership (D3 L5), and have lost two league games in a row, last suffering three consecutive such defeats in December of last season (run of six).St. Mirren have won both of their last two league games, last winning three in a row in the top-flight in December 2008 under Gus MacPherson (four straight wins).Both Ross County and St. Mirren have conceded the joint-most first half goals of all sides in this season’s Scottish Premiership (eight, level with Dundee), with the Buddies shipping an outright league-high three goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches.

St Johnstone vs Livingston – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership match between St. Johnstone and Dundee

Team news

St Johnstone are set to be without Ali Crawford due to a groin injury.

Liam Gordon is likely to be the only other absentee, although the defender is back training and could return next weekend after being sidelined since August.

Livingston will be missing attacker Andrew Shinnie, who is expected to be out until next month with an ankle problem.

Adam Lewis is out long term after undergoing foot surgery, while back-up goalkeeper Daniel Barden is unavailable due to personal reasons.

Opta stats

St. Johnstone scored as many goals in their 3-1 win over Dundee last time out as they had in their previous nine league games beforehand combined. The Saints have won two of their last three league games (L1), this after having only won one in 10 beforehand (D5 L4).Livingston are winless in 10 away league outings (D3 L7), and are the only side without an away Scottish Premiership goal this season.Chris Kane scored as many goals in St. Johnstone’s 3-1 win over Dundee last time out as he had in his previous 26 Scottish Premiership appearances beforehand (two). Eight of his last 11 league goals for the Saints have come at McDiarmid Park.

Dundee vs Aberdeen – Saturday, 3pm

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Highlights of the Scottish Premiership clash between Aberdeen and Celtic

Team news

Dundee manager James McPake will make a late decision on whether to restore Leigh Griffiths and Charlie Adam to the fold after the key duo stepped up their comeback bids over the international break.

Griffiths missed the defeat at St Johnstone due to the ankle injury that forced him off early in the previous match against Rangers, while Adam has been out since the end of August with a groin problem.

Danny Mullen is also in contention for a return to the squad after being sidelined since sustaining an ankle injury against St Mirren in the opening league match of the campaign, but Alex Jakubiak is out after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Aberdeen have attacking reinforcements with Ryan Hedges back and Marley Watkins given a chance to play following a hamstring injury.

Midfielder Teddy Jenks is also available again after suspension. Defender Andy Considine is out until the turn of the year following knee surgery.

Opta stats

Dundee are winless in 15 home games in the Scottish Premiership (D6 L9) since beating Hamilton 4-0 in December 2018. The last side to go longer without a home win in Scotland’s top-flight were Dunfermline Athletic in April 2012 (18 without a win), a run which the Pars ended by beating Aberdeen.Aberdeen have lost four straight league matches, their worst such streak since losing five in a row in April 2011.Including the final league game of 2018-19, Dundee are yet to win a Scottish Premiership match under James McPake in nine attempts (D3 L6); the last manager to fail to win each of his first 10 matches in the division was Martin Canning with Hamilton in the 2014-15 campaign (first 13).

Key dates in the Scottish Premiership 2021/22 season

The top flight will once again take a winter break from Monday, January 3 until Wednesday, January 26.

After 33 games, the league splits into two sections of six teams, with each team playing each other in that section.

The 2021/22 Scottish Premiership season with Sky Sports

Up to 48 live matches from the Scottish Premiership, including every Old Firm encounter.Live coverage presented by Eilidh Barbour with analysis from Kris Boyd and Andy Walker, and more.Round-the-clock coverage on Sky Sports News, on skysports.com and across our Sky Sports social channels.Dedicated Scottish Premiership highlights show every week and free-to-watch highlights of every Scottish Premiership game on our website.Insight and analysis from our Scottish Football Podcast.

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