SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) turns to the Premiership for his best bet in Scotland this weekend.
Inverness v Rangers | Friday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
Rangers fans have had a bit of a rotten time of it in recent weeks; the Gers have picked up just one point from their last three Premiership fixtures and even the stuttering Scottish Cup victory over Greenock Morton at Ibrox barely raised a smile.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Brendan Rodgers’ almost all-conquering Celtic (the Hoops have, after all, failed to win one of their 25 league matches so far this season) are so far in front – now 30 points clear of the team from Govan – that is the root cause of the gloom which has descended.
Mark Warburton has paid the price for Rangers’ poor form – the former Brentford boss left the club in curious circumstances earlier this month – but Graeme Murty has not made the sort of impression in the role of caretaker manager that he would have hoped for.
The Gers were caught cold in Dundee last Sunday and by the time Rangers got going, Paul Hartley’s men had established a 2-0 lead at Dens Park that turned out to be unassailable.
Rangers, though, may find some relief in Friday’s fixture, for they travel north to take on bottom-of-the-table Inverness Caledonian Thistle; the Gers have taken six points from their previous two tussles against Richie Foran’s team this season, winning 1-0 on both occasions.
Inverness will hope to build upon a point procured against Hearts at Tynecastle last weekend, but given that the Jam Tarts hit the woodwork twice and missed a penalty, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that the visitors were slightly fortunate to leave Gorgie with a share of the spoils.
You have to go back to October for the last time that the Caley Jags won a league game; they have failed to win take full points from any of their last 14 league matches, but they will still harbour hopes of taking something from this tie, for five of their last seven league games on home soil have ended all square.
Will Foran’s side pick up a vital victory to heap yet more pressure upon Murty’s men? I don’t think that they will.
Rangers have to show some resolve if they are to resurrect their hopes of finishing second in Scotland this season and the Gers have just about enough quality in the final third to take all three points from Friday’s fixture.
A Rangers hat-trick against the Highlanders carries appeal and, at 10/11, I’m happy to side with the Gers to get their season firmly back on track with a win in this one.
Inverness v Rangers – Rangers to win (10/11 William Hill)