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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Aberdeen can win the race for second spot

Kilmarnock capable of top-half finish

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes
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Betting without Celtic continues to be the most exciting market in the Ladbrokes Premiership and it could come down to a fascinating three-way battle between AberdeenRangers and Hibernian.

There have been optimistic squeaks from those of a Rangers persuasion that Scottish football might actually have a title race after the Ibrox side got to within five points of Celtic.

Despite their shock 4-0 weekend defeat to Hearts, odds of around 1-33 for the Hoops to win seven titles in a row are justified and it's next to impossible to believe that a side who went 69 games unbeaten domestically will somehow do a Devon Loch under a manager as astute as Brendan Rodgers.

Rangers and Aberdeen should go head to head for the honour of being best of the rest and they have the edge over Neil Lennon's Hibs.

There is added spice with Dons' boss Derek McInnes saying no to becoming the new Rangers manager.

A lot will depend on who eventually gets the Ibrox gig, with caretaker manager Graeme Murty having a great chance of securing the job himself.

If a new man is appointed in January, the question is whether the Rangers board will invest in new players and whether any recruits will gel.

Having already advised the Dons to finish second and with McInnes promised money to spend in the transfer window, there seems no need to change tack.

Kilmarnock look a nice price to finish in the top six. They've been sparked into life by the exciting appointment of former West Brom boss Steve Clarke and they've already taken points at Celtic and Rangers under his stewardship.

They also appear to have sorted out their home form and they could yet secure a top-half finish.

Motherwell could suffer too, with the loss of top scorer Louis Moult to Preston North End, and with Hearts likely to improve, Killie could benefit from the paucity of form from the the likes of St Johnstone and Ross County, who have landed top-half finishes recently.

Kilmarnock top-half finish 
3pts 5-1 Sky Bet, Betway

Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership standings

Alfredo Morelos is making his mark for Rangers

Partick's party running out of steam

Partick Thistle's five-year stint in the Ladbrokes Premiership could be petering out after a disastrous season.

The Jags secured a top-six finish last season, but that was just about the last time those long-suffering fans in Glasgow's West End had something to celebrate.

They were always reliant on striker Kris Doolan, but he has been beset with injuries and Thistle have struggled for goals.

That, combined with a leaky defence, usually only means one thing and although manager Alan Archibald has enough credit in the bank to avoid the sack for a while, the Firhill men look doomed.

Inconsistent Dundee look set for a relegation playoff battle under Neil McCann.

In the top-scorer market, Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos looks nicely placed to give the usual Celtic hitmen a run for their money.

The Colombian forward started the season on fire before going through a dry spell. But he is back among the goals and if Rangers can start turning some of their possession into goals he should be up there.

It depends of course on who gets the job as Rangers manager and whether he fancies the ex-HJK Helsinki player, but Morelos has proved he can finish and looks a decent price.

Kyle Lafferty also continues to give those who backed him at outrageous prices at the start of the season a run for their money.

Partick Thistle to finish bottom
2pts 6-4 bet365, Betway, Sky Bet
A Morelos top goalscorer
1pt ew 8-1 Betway, Sky Bet

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Kilmarnock have been sparked into life by the exciting appointment of Steve Clarke and they've already taken points at Celtic and Rangers
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