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Both Celtic and Rangers will have their full focus on domestic action after their exits from Europe
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Scottish Premiership weekend preview: Old Firm duo hoping for festive cheer

There is a double-header of festive action to enjoy in the Scottish Premiership on Friday, with four more fixtures to come on Christmas Eve.

Michael Beale puts his winning start as Rangers manager on the line when the second-placed Gers head to Ross County on Friday, while on the same night two of the bottom four meet as Motherwell entertain Kilmarnock.

The pick of Saturday's matches sees leaders Celtic welcome St Johnstone to Parkhead, while St Mirren play host to Aberdeen.

Saturday's remaining two matches both kick off at 14:00, as bottom club Dundee United host fourth-placed Hearts, while Easter Road is the venue for Hibernian against Livingston.

Dramatic start for Beale at Rangers

What: Ross County v Rangers
Where: Victoria Park, Dingwall
When: 19:30, Friday 23rd December
How to watch: Sky Sports Football
Odds: Ross County 15/2, Draw 9/2, Rangers 1/3

It has been a dramatic start to life in the Rangers dugout for Beale, as he has seen his side claim come-from-behind victories in his opening two matches in charge against Hibs and Aberdeen.

The latter of those successes came at Pittodrie on Tuesday night, when the Gers looked to be on course for a 2-1 defeat, only for substitute Scott Arfield to pop up with two goals in stoppage time to secure what had looked an unlikely 3-2 victory.

That win saw Rangers temporarily close the gap on Celtic at the top of the standings to six points, although the league leaders re-established their nine-point advantage with victory over Livingston on Wednesday.

Next up for Rangers is a trip to Dingwall to take on a Ross County side that are also in need of the points, as they sit 10th in the standings after suffering a 2-1 home defeat to St Johnstone upon their return from the World Cup break.

Malky Mackay's side have been poor at home all season - only Motherwell have collected fewer points on their own patch than County - while their recent record against Rangers also makes grim reading, with the Gers having won 13 of the last 14 clashes between the two sides.

Rangers are 1/3 to extend that impressive record on Friday in the Full Time Result market, while Tuesday's matchwinner Arfield is 10/3 To Score Anytime.

Bhoys in unstoppable form

What: Celtic v St Johnstone
Where: Celtic Park, Glasgow
When: 12:30, Saturday 24th December
Odds: Celtic 1/12, Draw 8/1, St Johnstone 22/1

Celtic are once again the team to beat in the Scottish Premiership this season, with Ange Postecoglou's side having won 16 of their 17 matches in the competition to date.

They are also currently on a 10-match winning run following their latest 2-1 home success over Livingston during the week.

The Bhoys will once again have home advantage for Saturday's encounter with an improving St Johnstone side who are unbeaten in six matches either side of the World Cup break, registering four wins and two draws.

That upturn in form has lifted Callum Davidson's side into the top half of the standings, while the run also includes an eye-catching 2-1 victory over Rangers in early November.

However, getting the better of the league leaders is an entirely different test for the Saints, who have lost each of their last seven clashes with Celtic, with their last visit to the East End of Glasgow ending in a 7-0 drubbing at the end of last season.

Celtic are unsurprisingly heavy favourites in the Full Time Result market at 1/12, while a repeat of that 7-0 victory in April can be backed at 40/1.

Related Scottish Premiership News

Celtic v Livingston preview: Hoops can continue to find a way

Aberdeen v Rangers preview: Beale out to build winning momentum

Dons aim to bounce back from Old Firm battles

What: St Mirren v Aberdeen
Where: SMISA Stadium , Paisley
When: 12:30, Saturday 24th December
Odds: St Mirren 9/5, Draw 9/4, Aberdeen 6/4

Aberdeen remain best of the rest in the Scottish Premiership despite suffering back-to-back but contrasting defeats to Celtic and Rangers over recent days.

Jim Goodwin's side were criticised for their defensive approach during last weekend's 1-0 loss to Celtic, but produced a much better display when going down 3-2 to Rangers - a match they will feel they should have won.

The Dons will now be looking to return to winning ways, while providing their supporters with some festive cheer, when they head to the SMISA Stadium to take on St Mirren on Saturday lunchtime.

This will be the Buddies’ first match since the World Cup break and they will be looking to arrest a four-game winless run that has seen them slip out of the top six.

They are unbeaten in their last four meetings on home turf with Aberdeen and are 9/5 to win this one, but it was the 6/4 Dons who ran out 4-1 winners when they last met at Pittodrie in August.

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