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Scottish Premiership: Issues to see out for on Saturday

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Celtic initiate up existence with out Neil Lennon on a weekend off for league leaders Rangers.

Aberdeen are support at Celtic Park for the 2nd time in 10 days and Hibernian are trying to search out a Third dwelling steal on the leap after taking 28 months to web two in a row.

Because the scrap for survival intensifies, Ross County procedure for a Third steal in four outings, while Kilmarnock desperately search a reducing edge.

Kennedy needs big strides in station of ‘puny steps’ at Celtic

Is John Kennedy a serious contender for the Celtic job following Lennon’s departure?

The quietly spoken 37-365 days-fashioned looks to be like just like the uncommon man out on a heavyweight list of that you just might have faith in replacements, nonetheless right here is his chance to stake a claim.

Having also worked beneath Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers, the newly-installed period in-between boss has been share of a hugely successful dynasty that has unravelled in such spectacular vogue this season.

The truth that defensive failings had been this sort of evident weak spot shall be a dim tag in opposition to the passe centre-half of. This might occasionally be intelligent to seek for the blueprint Celtic fare in that division now that Kennedy is in tag, nonetheless his palms are tied considerably, with Kristoffer Ajer and rookie Stephen Welsh the finest on hand central defenders for Sunday’s defeat at Ross County.

Kennedy has spoken of “puny steps” and “stripping it support to basics”, nonetheless this an audition for a job – even supposing he insists it is not an audition – that looks to be like as if it might entail predominant surgical treatment on the team and a tall summer season rebuild.

A sturdy league develop and Scottish Cup success modified into enough to elevate Lennon from an period in-between station into his 2nd stint as supervisor in 2019. Kennedy, who begins at dwelling to Aberdeen, is totally going to need something additional particular from a squad that has unperformed miserably to be in with a bawl.

Of enterprise for Hibs to open up some daylight on Dons?

If Celtic’s avid gamers elevate out reply positively to Kennedy’s short-timeframe promotion it might originate it a factual opportunity for Hibs to pull a ways from Aberdeen within the go to develop third.

Jack Ross’ side are trying to search out a fifth successive league steal and that hasn’t came about within the pinnacle flight since March 2011.

Again-to-support dwelling victories beget vastly improved what modified into a wobbly file at Easter Avenue and the likelihood of making that a hat-trick is enhanced by the very finest web of Martin Boyle and Motherwell’s most up-to-date downturn.

Boyle, so repeatedly feeble wide on the honest, has thrived in a central placing role alongside workhorse Christian Doidge and has 5 targets from that four-sport successful sequence, despite the proven truth that he did beget a penalty saved by Hamilton Academical’s Ryan Fulton closing weekend.

Can Martin Boyle continue his scoring his scoring streak at home to Motherwell?
Can Martin Boyle continue his scoring his scoring scurry at dwelling to Motherwell?

Motherwell, patched up in central defence of uninteresting, dug out a goalless draw at St Mirren on Wednesday following two heavy dwelling losses, nonetheless they haven’t picked up three capabilities in Leith since August 2013 (D3 L4).

The Steelmen beget scored 26 targets in 30 Premiership video games this timeframe. When closing season modified into curtailed at the same stage, that resolve modified into 41.

For Hibs, already four capabilities in front of Aberdeen with a sport in hand, the numbers are grand the same – 41 targets in 29 this time, when put next to 42 in 30. The tall enchancment has been at the support, with 26 targets conceded after letting in 49 all the blueprint thru one extra match closing time.

Can Kilmarnock pause the rot?

Tommy Wright is still gazing for his first capabilities as Kilmarnock supervisor. The Northern Irishman has opened with three successive 1-0 defeats, extending the Ayrshire membership’s shedding trudge to eight.

That alarming roam has left them stage on capabilities with bottom side Hamilton, while Accies and Ross County in 10th every beget most up-to-date successes to web on.

Killie desperately must fetch some momentum in their three outings earlier than the league atomize up; Dundee United at dwelling, Ross County away and Motherwell at dwelling.

Kyle Lafferty
Can Kyle Lafferty quit Killie’s trudge of 5 video games with out a procedure?

New arrival Kyle Lafferty received 45 minutes at Pittodrie closing Saturday and the 33-365 days-fashioned shall be their simplest hope of survival. For that to happen, the passe Rangers striker will need grand-improved provider from the flanks.

United, in a tussle for sixth area, were overwhelmed at Ibrox closing time and beget won correct one in every of their closing 13 away league outings (D6 L6). Home followers clutching at straws will existing the closing time they suffered support-to-support away defeats modified into in September – in opposition to Kilmarnock and Rangers.

A steal might be tall for Friends’ prime-six ambitions

St Mirren beget turn out to be February’s draw experts, with four in a row, and they’d elevate out with a victory as United and St Johnstone give trip for the one up-for-grabs area within the pinnacle half of of the desk.

The Friends beget their noses in front in that contest and beget the obvious fair exact thing about going thru strugglers County and Hamilton both side of a time out to Ibrox earlier than the divisional atomize up.

Jim Goodwin, only within the near past rewarded with a brand new contract, consistently has his side well organised, nonetheless the targets beget dried up and Wednesday’s drab stalemate with Motherwell is no longer going to live lengthy within the memory.

“We must chase for the jugular and web that every person-major steal,” Goodwin acknowledged, nonetheless how easy will that be in opposition to a side buoyed by a steal over Celtic closing Sunday?

Smartly, the Dingwall side haven’t managed support-to-support victories since the gap weeks of the season in August and beget simplest won one in every of their closing six prime-flight league journeys to Paisley (D2 L3).

On the different hand, they’re going to be scrapping for his or her lives and left with most capabilities on their closing away time out at Hamilton.

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