By Andrew Southwick:
It has been an interesting start to the season. Nothing is being dominated by the Old Firm. Celtic are in fifth position but there isn't even a sniff of worry from the Hoops faithful. Rangers could be knocked out of two cup competitions within a week, despite both games being at Ibrox. Motherwell weakened in summer yet are top of the table. Partick Thistle are not only top dogs in Glasgow at the moment but the form team in Britain.
Is this meant to be armegeddon?
It has made predicting the SPL games a difficult task. Just eight points seperate first from bottom. Nine sides are within six points of each other. St Johnstone defeated the champions Celtic last weekend, then at one point in the afternoon they found the latest scores would have rooted them to the bottom of the table.
The question is, just who is the form team? Motherwell are top but manager Stuart McCall doesn't expect to stay there for long. They travel to Pittodrie on Sunday for the live TV game to face a team who are arguably playing their best football in years, but you wouldn't know it to look at the league table.
The Dons chronic lack of creativity turned off fans last season. Crowds dropped to an alarming rate and the thought of taking in live coverage of an Aberdeen v Motherwell game would have even the execs at Sky Sports reaching for the remote.
However, with the addition of Jonny Hayes plus terrific youth prospect Ryan Fraser, they have finally found width and players with the agility, skill, pace, and the bravery to take a few dunts from clogging defenders. Add in new signing Niall McGinn, plus another youth player Cammy Smith who scored his first goal for the club last weekend, and they have competition for places now that may well see misfiring Scott Vernon dropped to the bench.
They have absolutely battered teams at Pittodrie this season, yet have no home wins to show for it. Ross County, St Mirren and Hearts all staggered out knowing they had been well outplayed, but with a share of the spoils.
Now Motherwell come calling as league leaders, confident they can continue an good run of results. The argument being made by their detractors though is that they have yet to face a good team.
They have defeated Kilmarnock, Inverness CT and Dundee. They've yet to defeat a top six side yet. The tests are certainly coming though - their next three games are Aberdeen away, Rangers away in the League Cup, and then champions Celtic at home.
If Aberdeen keep performing at home the same way they have been, then the goals will eventually flow. No team can be that unlucky. Therefore, we're backing Aberdeen with a handicap of -1 at Ladbrokes.com, at odds of 4-1.
Elsewhere, Celtic have stumbled recently, throwing away the lead twice against Hibs to draw 2-2, then allowed St Johnstone to come from behind to defeat them last weekend.
However they should get back to winning ways against a Dundee side who have found it hard going in the SPL so far, and who themselves threw away a lead at home to Motherwell last week.
Also on the accumulator this week Dundee United and Kilmarnock are at home to Hearts and St Mirren respectively. The Jambos, the two Liverpool games apart, have looked off colour this season and they don't have a good record against Peter Houston's men.
St Mirren have been okay, but Kilmarnock - after a few weeks without a win - will be determined to net the three points at home and I can see Kenny Shiels men getting them.
As an extra bonus, add Partick Thistle to your accumulator. The Jags are racking up the wins at the moment and there seems little reason why they can't continue their impressive run with victory over Cowdenbeath in the First Division.
£5 on Aberdeen -1 v Motherwell (4-1)
£5 accumulator: Celtic, Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle
Split it with £1 on the accumulator (potential returns £8.64) and £4 on four trebles (potential returns £20.88)
All odds courtesy of Ladbrokes.com.
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