Steve Lomas made his debut as St Johnstone manager against Rangers at Ibrox eight games ago and led his side to an impressive 0-0 draw.
Now he is aiming to go one better with a win at McDiarmid Park, but this time around the spotlight will be on his star striker rather than on himself.
Spanish hitman Fran Sandaza has been making all the headlines recently as he continues to be linked with the Gers and he now finds himself in the bizarre situation of aiming to win a move by gunning down his illustrious suitors.
The striker has netted 13 goals in 18 games this season, including five in his last four games in all competitions. And with partner Cillian Sheridan extending his loan spell from CSKA Sofia until the end of the season, St Johnstone will fancy their chances of finding the net against the champions.
Bwin are offering odds of 39/50 on the Saints to score a goal on Saturday, but the best value could come in successfully predicting which half will yield more goals for the home side.
Seven of Sandaza’s nine SPL goals this season have come in the first half, so he is much more likely to score before the break than he is after it.
For this reason, odds of 17/5 on St Johnstone scoring more goals in the first half than in the second look tempting, compared to odds of 23/10 for them to score more goals in the second.
Rangers’ pursuit of Sandaza has assumed added urgency given the injury crisis that is threatening to derail their title defence.
Long-term absentee Steven Naismith has been joined on the sidelines by Kyle Lafferty, which leaves them without two players who had scored 16 goals between them when fit.
Seven of Sandaza’s nine SPL goals this season have come in the first half, so he is much more likely to score before the break than he is after it. For this reason, odds of 17/5 on St Johnstone scoring more goals in the first half than in the second look tempting.
Back-up man David Healy has scored as many goals in the SPL this season as Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has in the Premier League, so the weight of expectation in front of goal again falls firmly on the shoulders of talisman Nikica Jelavic.
Suffice to say, goals could be the main area of concern for Ally McCoist’s men at McDiarmid Park. Yet the threat of Jelavic is still strong enough to make Rangers the favourites to win the game with bwin, an outcome that is on offer at 1/2.
But you will get odds of 12/5 on them winning the game with under 2.5 goals scored in the match and this could represent better value for money.
New customers who register with bwin qualify for a free £25 bet and if you use yours to back this outcome you stand to win £85 if successful.
St Johnstone are outsiders to pick up all three points at a price of 11/2, while the draw is 14/5 – but expect this one to be a much closer game than the odds suggest.
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