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Scottish Premiership weekend preview: Hearts out to see off Livingston challenge

After the Scottish Cup fixtures last weekend, top-flight teams return to Premiership action with the standout match seeing fourth entertain third as Livingston take on Hearts.

The gap remains at nine points at the top of the table, with leaders Celtic away to Dundee United on Sunday while second-placed Rangers play host to St Johnstone. 

Hibs can pile more woe on Dons

WhatHibernian v Aberdeen
WhereEaster Road, Edinburgh
When15:00, Saturday 28th January
OddsHibernian 5/4, Draw 13/5, Aberdeen 2/1

After a nightmare Cup exit at the hands of non-league Darvel last week, Aberdeen head into their clash with Hibs having lost their last three games in all competitions. 

A defeat at Easter Road will see the Dons slip further down the table, with their opponents able to leapfrog them with a victory. 

The hosts have only won one of their last five games, but Lee Johnson’s men have lost three of their 11 home league games so far this term. 

Although Aberdeen won 4-1 at Pittodrie in November, the Dons have not won on their last four visits (three defeats and one draw) to Easter Road – including a 3-1 defeat earlier this season. 

Rangers can secure Saints double

WhatRangers v St Johnstone
WhereIbrox, Glasgow
When15:00, Saturday 28th January
OddsRangers 1/6, Draw 6/1, St Johnstone 18/1

Rangers and St Johnstone met in the Scottish Cup last weekend and go head-to-head again on Saturday, this time at Ibrox. 

The Gers won the cup tie 1-0 and will look to maintain their unbeaten run under Michael Beale, as they look to close the gap on Celtic.

Rangers are unbeaten in the league at Ibrox this season – with nine wins and two draws – and have kept clean sheets in six of those matches, including a 4-0 success over Saints in August. 

Another win to nil for the home side can be backed at 8/11, while over 2.5 goals is available at 4/7

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Bottom two do battle at Dingwall

WhatRoss County v Kilmarnock 
WhereDingwall, Ross and Cromarty
When15:00, Saturday 28th January
OddsRoss County 9/5, Draw 21/10, Kilmarnock 17/10

The bottom two teams in the Scottish Premiership meet on Saturday afternoon, with Ross County looking to move level on points with opponents Kilmarnock. 

The home team are currently at the foot of the table with just 17 points from 22 games and having failed to win any of their last seven matches. 

Kilmarnock have only won one of their last six in the league, but the three defeats during that run have come against the top three in the table – Hearts, Rangers and Celtic. 

The visitors have not won on their last five visits to Dingwall, including a 1-0 loss at Ross County back in August – a repeat scoreline can be backed at 7/1

Home fortress to help St Mirren push on

WhatSt Mirren v Motherwell
WhereSt Mirren Park, Paisley
When15:00, Saturday 28th January 
OddsSt Mirren 7/5, Draw 11/5, Motherwell 21/10

Stephen Robinson has been in charge at St Mirren for almost a year and the Buddies look to be making big strides under the Northern Irishman. 

They are currently sat seventh in the table and are unbeaten in 11 home games in all competitions going into Saturday’s clash, including wins over Celtic and Aberdeen and a draw with Rangers. 

In stark contrast, Motherwell have failed to win any of their last eight Premiership games, although they did win 1-0 at St Mirren back in late July.

Hearts can extend advantage in third

WhatLivingston v Hearts
WhereTony Macaroni Arena, Livingston
When13:30, Sunday 29th January
How to watchSky Sports Football
OddsLivingston 12/5, Draw 5/2, Hearts 11/10

There isn't a team playing with more confidence than Hearts, who head to Livingston on Sunday looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 matches. 

Robbie Neilson’s men have opened up a seven-point lead over Livingston ahead of Sunday’s televised encounter, conceding just one goal in 450 minutes of football. 

Hearts, who lost 1-0 at Livingston back in September, can be backed at 11/4 to win to nil in the 13:30 showdown. 

Meanwhile, it’s five goals in five games for Lawrence Shankland and the striker is 9/2 to score the first goal on Sunday. 

The hosts also head into this clash in decent form, with three wins on the spin and no defeats in their last five matches. 

Livingston have lost just two of their last nine competitive home games, although their last two matches at home – against St Mirren and Motherwell - have finished 1-1. 

Celtic too strong for stubborn Terrors

WhatDundee United v Celtic
WhereTannadice Park, Dundee
When16:00, Sunday 29th January
How to watchSky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football
OddsDundee United 12/1, Draw 5/1, Celtic 2/9

The last four matches have seen Celtic score 13 and concede no goals, helping them maintain their advantage at the top of the table ahead of their clash at Dundee United. 

The Hoops have only dropped points once in seven league games – a 2-2 draw in the Old Firm derby at Rangers - since the World Cup. 

During that run, Kyogo Furuhashi has bagged nine goals and taken his tally to 17 for the season. The Japanese star is 13/5 to score the first goal on Sunday. 

Dundee United, currently third from bottom, go into this clash having lost just one of their last six in all competitions, with that defeat being a 2-0 loss to Rangers earlier this month. 

Liam Fox’s men progressed to the next round of the Scottish Cup with a 3-0 win over Stirling University and the Terrors have scored nine goals in their last four Premiership home games.

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