WILLIE DUNCAN’S famed weekend NAP from north of the border returns for 2016/17 and he’s diving straight into the Scottish Premiership on Saturday.
Rangers v Hamilton Academical | Saturday 12.30 | Sky Sports 1
The Scottish Premiership is back with a bang on Saturday afternoon and the first match of the top-flight season takes place at Ibrox – a lunchtime kick-off in Govan – as newly-promoted Rangers play host to Hamilton Academical.
It’s been four long years since Mark Warburton’s side were in the top-flight of Scottish football but Ibrox will be packed to the rafters for Rangers’ return this weekend – and I am very confident that the expectant home support will be sent home happy – very happy.
I think that Martin Canning’s visitors are in for a real struggle this season and, given the wave of emotion that will engulf the hosts this weekend, I’m not sure that the Accies could have been handed a tougher task on the opening day of the new season.
Rangers have moved to strengthen their squad over the summer following their promotion from the Championship, with Premier League veterans Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar amongst the new faces in Govan while, for Accies, it’s more about who won’t be lining up for the visitors on Saturday.
Michael McGovern proved his worth with a string of superb performances for his country – Northern Ireland – at Euro 2016 earlier this summer has left New Douglas Park for Norwich, while Ziggy Gordon – such a big player for Accies last term, featuring in all 38 league matches for Canning’s charges – has moved to Partick.
So, Rangers at 2/5 (BetVictor) to get their season off to a flying start with three points in Glasgow? No, of course not – there’s far better value on offer than that.
Instead, get stuck into the juicy 21/20 (Coral) quotes on offer for Rangers (-1) in the handicap market ahead of Saturday’s showdown.
The Ibrox faithful will fancy their chances of challenging Celtic for the Premiership title this season and, while I suspect that such a season may be beyond them, there’s no doubt that there are capable of winning – and winning well – this weekend.
Accies, for me, are the poorest team in the division and, having tipped them up for relegation in my Premiership preview for WeLoveBetting, it’ll come as no great surprise that I’m backing Accies to be rolled over by Rangers at Ibrox.
Rangers v Hamilton Academical – Rangers -1 handicap (21/20 Coral)