The postponement of last Monday night’s match against Aberdeen means that new St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas will be handed a baptism of fire against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday, and it couldn’t be a tougher start for the Northern Irish rookie.
The champions sit a whopping 12 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League and are yet to lose a single match in the league this season.
They have scored 30 goals in 14 games – an average of more than two per match – and have conceded only six.
Even the serious injury to top-scorer Stevie Naismith failed to halt their charge as they hit three more goals in their last match against Dundee United in his absence.
Nikica Jelavic has scored in each of his last four games, and has nine in total, while Kyle Lafferty has hit five despite suffering from a series of niggling injuries.
Rangers are 3/2 in the multiple correct score market to win either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0, and all the stats point to this being a great bet.
Rangers have averaged between two and three goals in every game this season, and they scored six in two games at home against St Johnstone last season.
Allied to their impressive defensive performances which have yielded nine clean sheets already this season, a two or three goal win to nil looks promising.
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Another option based on these stats could be to go for Rangers to win and more than 2.5 goals to be scored in the game at odds of 17/10, or Rangers to win 2-0 at odds of 21/4.
St Johnstone have never beaten Rangers at Ibrox in the SPL and this probably explains why they are as long as 9/1 with bwin to win on Saturday, compared with 7/25 for a home win and 4/1 for the draw.
Lomas was a tenacious and determined player in his day and his new troops will have to show similar qualities if they are to halt the Rangers juggernaut.
The team he has acquired has only scored once in their last four visits to Ibrox, and a Rangers win to nil is priced at 21/20 this time around.
The best option for anyone looking to bet on St Johnstone could be backing them to lead at half time at 15/2.
New managers often make an immediate impact and Lomas will have his players fired up early on, so it is not beyond comprehension that the Saints could start strongly.
At 15/2 it is far from being a dead cert, but it offers some promise and will surely tempt some people to have a punt.
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