Scottish Premiership – Saturday previews

Team news, stats and how to follow Saturday’s matches in the Scottish Premiership, including Ross County vs Rangers on Sky Sports.

Ross County vs Rangers – Saturday, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports Football

Ross County’s Jordan Tillson returns from suspension for the visit of Rangers. The Staggies midfielder was banned for two games after being sent off against Motherwell.

Fellow midfielder David Cancola misses out with a groin problem.

New loan signing Amad Diallo goes straight into the Rangers squad for the trip north.

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Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst is excited about his new signing from Manchester United

The 19-year-old Manchester United winger is joined by Ryan Kent, who is back from suspension, and Joe Aribo, back from international duty.

Alfredo Morelos is away with Colombia while Ianis Hagi is out for the rest of the season following a knee operation. Steven Davis, Filip Helander and Leon Balogun are working their way back to fitness, while Nnamdi Ofoborh is a
long-term absentee with a heart condition.

Opta stats

  • Ross County have lost each of their last 11 league meetings with Rangers, conceding 33 goals in the process (3 per game on average).
  • Rangers have won each of their last six away league matches against Ross County since a 1-1 draw in November 2016.
  • Ross County have won three of their last five home league games (D1 L1), as many as their previous 12 such matches before this (W3 D2 L7). The Staggies are looking to win back-to-back home matches in the Scottish Premiership for only the second time since the start of last season, last doing so in March 2021.
  • Rangers have lost just one of their last 61 league fixtures (W50 D10), and are unbeaten in 20 (W16 D4) since a 0-1 defeat at Dundee United in August.
  • While Ross County have lost more points from winning positions than any other side in this season’s Scottish Premiership (15), opponents Rangers have recovered the most when trailing in 2021-22 (16).

How to follow: Watch Ross County vs Rangers live on Sky Sports Football from 12pm on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm. Free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Saturday 29th January 12:00pm Kick off 12:30pm

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Aberdeen vs St Johnstone – Saturday, kick-off 3pm

Vicente Besuijen could make his Aberdeen debut against cinch Premiership bottom club St Johnstone.

The Netherlands youth international’s work permit has been finalised.

Jonny Hayes and Jack MacKenzie are back in training and could return from injury but Marley Watkins (foot) remains out, along with long-term absentees Andy Considine and Mikey Devlin.

Melker Hallberg will make his St Johnstone debut at Pittodrie after joining from Hibernian.

Recent recruit Nadir Ciftci is out with the hamstring injury he suffered against Dundee in midweek and could be absent for several weeks.

Michael O’Halloran (hamstring) is rated 50-50 by manager Callum Davidson, while Shaun Rooney and Craig Bryson are both sidelined by ankle problems and David Wotherspoon (knee) is out for the season.

Opta stats

  • Aberdeen have only lost one of their last six league meetings with St Johnstone (W4 D1), although that was their last such meeting at Pittodrie in September (0-1).
  • St Johnstone are looking to win back-to-back league visits to Aberdeen for the first time since October 2015.
  • Aberdeen have only lost one of their last seven home league matches (W5 D1), a 0-2 defeat to Motherwell in November.
  • St Johnstone are currently on a four-game losing run away from home in the Scottish Premiership; they last suffered five consecutive league defeats away from home in August 2012 under Steve Lomas.
  • Only Rangers pair James Tavernier (14) and Alfredo Morelos (12) have been directly involved in more Scottish Premiership goals this season than Aberdeen’s Christian Ramírez (11 – 8 goals, 3 assists). In fact, 11 goal involvements is the same number of goals St Johnstone have scored as a team in the league this term.

How to follow: You can follow our live blog and free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Celtic vs Dundee United – Saturday, kick-off 3pm

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is still without a number of players but has no new injury worries for the cinch Premiership game against Dundee United at Parkhead.

Captain Callum McGregor (face) and fellow midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi (ankle) remain out along with Kyogo Furuhashi, David Turnbull and Albian Ajeti (all hamstring).

Tom Rogic and Daizen Maeda are away on international duty.

Dundee United begin life without Jeando Fuchs after selling the midfielder to Peterborough.

Former Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew missed the midweek win over Ross County with a muscle injury but Peter Pawlett is expected to shake off a knock that he picked up against the Dingwall side.

Liam Smith (knee) and Kai Fotheringham (ankle) are working their way back to fitness.

Opta stats

  • Celtic are unbeaten in 10 league meetings with Dundee United (W8 D2) since a 1-2 defeat in December 2014 under Ronny Deila.
  • Dundee United drew 1-1 in their last league visit to Celtic in September; they haven’t avoided defeat in two consecutive league games at Celtic Park since January 2009 under Craig Levein (two draws).
  • Celtic are unbeaten in 16 home league matches (W13 D3), winning each of the last four in a row. Indeed, the Hoops have conceded just two goals in their last 12 league matches at Celtic Park.
  • Dundee United have lost both of their last two away league matches, last losing more in a row on the road in the Scottish Premiership from August to November 2015 (run of six).
  • On his debut against Hearts, Celtic’s Matt O’Riley created eight chances as well as picking up an assist. All eight were from open play – the most by a player in open play in a single Scottish Premiership match this season.

How to follow: You can follow our live blog and free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Dundee vs St Mirren – Saturday, kick-off 3pm

Dundee striker Danny Mullen could return for the cinch Premiership clash with former club St Mirren.

Mullen missed the midweek draw against St Johnstone with a sickness bug. Niall McGinn and Jay Chapman are in line for home debuts. Jordan Marshall remains a doubt while Cillian Sheridan (Achilles) and Lee Ashcroft (hamstring) are long-term absentees.

St Mirren have no fresh injury concerns for the trip to Tayside. Defender Conor McCarthy (hamstring) remains out.

Opta stats

  • Dundee are looking to win back-to-back top-flight league meetings with St Mirren within a single season for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.
  • St Mirren are unbeaten in their last four top-flight away games against Dundee (W2 D2), this despite both sides scoring in all four such matches.
  • Dundee are winless in seven league matches (D1 L6), although six of those have come away from home.
  • Three of St Mirren’s five league wins this season have come away from home (60 per cent); only St Johnstone (67 per cent) have won a higher share of their Scottish Premiership matches on the road this term.
  • St Mirren have lost each of their last three Scottish Premiership matches against newly promoted opponents, including a 1-0 defeat to Dundee in October. The Buddies last lost four consecutive meetings with promoted sides in the top-flight from January to August 2013 – when two of those defeats were against Dundee.

How to follow: You can follow our live blog and free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Hearts vs Motherwell – Saturday, kick-off 3pm

Hearts have been dealt a blow ahead of the visit from Motherwell after manager Robbie Neilson confirmed that Craig Halkett will be missing for several weeks with a hamstring injury sustained against Celtic in midweek.

He is likely to be replaced in central defence by new signing Toby Sibbick, who joined from Barnsley on Thursday.

Michael Smith is out with a back issue but Taylor Moore returns to contention after missing the last two games through injury.

Liam Donnelly is suspended for Motherwell after being sent off against Hibernian in midweek.

Centre-back Bevis Mugabi will be assessed after returning to training on Friday but Rickie Lamie and Mark O’Hara remain on the sidelines.

Opta stats

  • Hearts have only lost one of their last nine Scottish Premiership home games against Motherwell (W6 D2), a 2-3 defeat in September 2019 under Craig Levein.
  • Motherwell have won four of their last six league meetings with Hearts (D1 L1), including a 2-0 win most recently in November.
  • None of Hearts’ last 11 league matches have been drawn (W6 L5), the longest ongoing such run in this season’s Scottish Premiership.
  • Motherwell have only won three of their last 17 Scottish Premiership away games at newly promoted opposition (D4 L10), losing both previous such matches this season (0-2 v Hearts in October, 0-3 v Dundee in November).
  • Barrie McKay has assisted all three of Hearts’ goals in their two league games this calendar year so far. This is just one fewer assist than he provided in 29 league appearances in the whole of 2021 for Hearts and former club Fleetwood Town (four).

How to follow: You can follow our live blog and free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Hibernian vs Livingston – Saturday, kick-off 3pm

Hibernian welcome back Ryan Porteous for Saturday’s match at home to Livingston following a three-game suspension.

Fellow centre-back Paul Hanlon is likely to remain on the sidelines after missing the midweek draw at Motherwell with a heel injury.

Key midfielder Kyle Magennis is still working to build up his fitness after a four-month absence with a groin problem.

Sebastian Soto could make his Livingston debut at Easter Road. The 21-year-old United States forward signed on loan from Norwich earlier in the week.

Craig Sibbald and James Penrice are back in training following their respective injuries.

Opta stats

  • Hibernian have won both of their last two home league meetings with Livingston; they have never won three top-flight home matches in succession against the Lions.
  • Livingston are looking to win back-to-back top-flight league matches against Hibernian for the first time since January 2004 under David Hay.
  • This will be Hibernian’s first home league match of 2022; they won both of their last two home league fixtures in 2021, and could win three Scottish Premiership home matches in a row for the first time since a run of seven straight wins from January to April 2018.
  • Livingston have lost three of their last four away league matches (W1); they had only lost three of their previous nine on the road before this (W2 D4 L3).
  • Hibernian’s Kevin Nisbet has scored more Scottish Premiership goals against Livingston than he has versus any other opponent (five). Indeed, his only previous hat-trick in the competition came against the Lions in August 2020.

How to follow: You can follow our live blog and free match highlights will be published on the Sky Sports website, app and YouTube channel later that evening.

Source : Sky Sports