THERE'S a new era at Hamilton kicking off tonight. Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) previews their match against Dundee United.
Hamilton v Dundee United | Monday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
This betting weekend has been all about themes as opposed to cold hard form for me, with mixed results.
I ignored Sunderland's poor general form and backed them to score against Liverpool due to their habit of raising their game against the bigger sides. It failed.
I discarded the league table when backing West Brom to beat Hull due to the fact an impressive new manager had been installed at the club. It worked.
I saw Tottenham's 5-3 win over Chelsea as a betting negative and took them on against Crystal Palace due to the hangover effect I've been banging on about all season. It worked.
Tonight I just have to take on Hamilton before I even look at the form book, due to the fact their talisman, manager and living spirit Alex Neil has left the club. Neil has taken the reins at English Championship side Norwich and you would imagine that will be a devastating blow to Hamilton.
Neil was at Hamilton for a decade and was part of the side (along with James McCarthy and James McArthur) that were promoted to the 2008/09 top division. He took over as boss permanently in May 2013 and got them promoted to the top-flight at the first attempt.
You'll no doubt be aware of what he's achieved this season at the Accies. 12 wins in their 20 league matches doesn't do them justice. His side sat top of the table for a number of weeks in the autumn and managed to win at Celtic Park for the first time in 76 years.
Neil was the embodiment of the club, and spirits must be low at New Douglas Park after his exit. Defender Martin Canning takes charge of the side on Monday, but this quote hardly inspires, “I didn't work closely with Alex but I had a little insight into what he did and I will have to learn it as I go”.
On the form book, Hamilton deserve huge respect as they've lost just once at home this season, but sometimes events like this supercede bare form and I'm happy to have a small interest in Dundee United tonight against heartbroken Hamilton.
Hamilton v Dundee United – Dundee United to win (15/8 BetVictor)