Wait for late Aberdeen flurry in their televised clash with Partick
The weekend’s football has one more fixture to fulfil as Aberdeen host Partick Thistle in the Scottish Premier League, which will be shown live on TV.
After finishing in the bottom half of the table for the last four seasons, the Dons have shown great improvement this term under new boss Derek McInnes.
They currently sit in fourth place with 20 points after 11 games and are favourites at odds of 15/8 to finish top of the table without runaway leaders Celtic.
McInnes’ men have won each of their last three fixtures in all competitions after going into the break honours even and a repeat of that eventuality looks the pick of the bets here at 10/3 for a draw at half-time and an Aberdeen victory at full-time.
Aberdeen gunned down Dundee Utd and Hibernian during that mini-run, who occupy the two positions directly above Partick in the SPL table.
Alan Archibald’s newly promoted side showed stout resistance when pegging back Celtic last time out at Firhill before Hoops substitute Amido Balde’s 75th-minute winner.
That spirited performance against the champions came off the back of a vital win at high-flying Inverness Caledonian Thistle and the Jags have clearly improved since the 3-0 thumping Aberdeen gave them in September.
However, they have failed to net a first-half strike in two of their last three SPL games and look set to struggle against a side that have only been beaten at home by Neil Lennon’s Champions League veterans this season.
Niall McGinn is the Dons’ top scorer in the SPL this term, but the Northern Ireland international lost momentum after missing three games through injury and has now gone five matches without a goal.
At 9/2 to break the deadlock here McGinn looks a tad short, but at 8/1 winger Johnny Hayes is the value pick to score the first goal in this tie.
The Dubliner scored the last goal in Aberdeen’s 2-0 win over Motherwell in the Scottish League Cup quarter-final, which was his second of the campaign.
Hayes has hardly set Pittodrie alight since joining in the summer of 2012, but his goalscoring record at former club Inverness suggests he may be about to catch fire.
The 26-year-old scored 23 times in 85 league appearances for Caley and grabbed many of those goals in bunches when on a hot streak.
He hit the back of the net in consecutive matches at some point during each of his three seasons in the Scottish Highlands and looks overpriced to do so here considering none of his teammmates have scored more than three league goals so far this term.
Only Partick have scored fewer when hosting than Aberdeen in the SPL this season and their charge up the table owes much to their improved defensive organisation under McInnes.
Along with St Johnstone and Caley Thistle, the Reds have the joint-best home defence in the SPL.
With that in mind the 13/20 odds about under 2.5 goals in the match look absolutely nailed on.