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Celtic to beat Kilmarnock to nil @ 3/4
Gary Locke’s caretaker honeymoon at Rugby Park seems a long time ago now and Celtic’s resolute rearguard can burnish a Bhoys victory with a clean sheet in Ayrshire.
He’s now lost nine of his ten matches since taking the reins on a full-time basis in April 2015, but more disconcertingly still, the goals have dried up this term.
Having netted in all eight games after he took permanent charge last season, the Killies have failed to bag in two 2015/16 outings, shipping six in the process.
Celtic, shut out Qarabag in the hostile atmosphere of the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan in their last road game and Ronny Deila’s men have shipped just once in six all told this term.
Derby to beat Portsmouth @ 4/5
The Sky Sports cameras may scent an upset at Fratton Park, but the visitors won’t be the only side juggling this fixture relative to promotion concerns.
While the injury enforced absences of Will Hughes and Craig Bryson are a blow for Paul Clement, opposite number Paul Cook will make some concessions to the fixture list himself, resting Kyle Bennett and Matt Tubbs.
As a result the Rams’ extra quality is expected to tell, with new boss Clement telling the club website he is keen to use the competition to gain momentum for his fledgling regime.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Partick Thistle – draw @ 21/10
This all-Thistle throwdown is expected to be short on goals, with a stalemate the most likely result.
The hosts’ injury problems have been so severe that they will still be understrength if Aaron Doran, James Vincent and Carl Tremarco all return to the XI as expected.
Even if they do, the Maryhill Magyars’ are unlikely to be cowed, having won two of their last three visits to the Caledonian Stadium.
However, Partick have yet to find the net in two Premiership outings and the worry is they won’t be able to penetrate a side that has yet to concede more than once in 2015/16.
Caley Thistle have struck once in four fixtures themselves.