Odds & Sods -
It's a return to business as usual as the ludicrous 'Winter Break' ends. Past few weeks have been a testing time for Fab Four fans as cup games and the break have left us scrambling over the few miserable scraps from the remaining fixtures. Sensible punters would have hopefully taken heed of the warnings here and dropped their stakes accordingly during the barren weeks.
The difference in having a full fixture list on a Saturday can be seen in the 'losing' lines. Whenever we started with a reduced selection we are more often than not, struggling to get even a measly single. Doubles, on the other hand, have been the most common outcome when forecasting four results from a full card.
Still it's them stake doubling trebles and juicy foursomes that we are seeking. So with February bringing with it a return to normality in the league picks, let's hope that the attendant profits return as well.
This week's Fab Four:
HEARTS EVS v Dunfermline
The Old Firm apart, the Jambo's are currently Scotland's form side. In fact Glasgow's big Two are the only teams that Hearts have not beaten so far this season. December began with 2 losses in - a - row versus Rangers and Motherwell.
Since then they have had 5 wins and a single loss which came result of their impressive 4 - 2 scrap at Parkhead. They ended the break with that incredible 4 - 4 battle with Hibernian then beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie on the restart.
The rewards of the Pars early endeavours originally was 3rd place, but have now slipped to 4th as a result of poor pre - break form. Having chalked up only 3 wins since December and have lost 4, last weeks 1 - 0 home defeat to Dundee suggests that perhaps in Fife the good times are over for the moment.
CLYDE 7/5 v Inverness CT
The Scottish Football League's 'Match Of The Day' has these two fierce competitors going head - to - head in Cumbernauld. With their respective 3rd and 2nd leagues positions, and having taken 3 points of each other previously this season, first appearances suggest that this could be hard to call. Appearances as always can be deceptive.
After losing their management team, ICT also appear to have lost their resolve. Their 13 match winning streak (sole defeat by Clyde) ended with a draw v Ayr in December.
A Bairns o.g. gave them an undeserved 1 - 1 draw v Falkirk the following week. Then facing Alloa, a team who have a miserly two wins to show for the entire season, ICT yet again could only manage a 1 - 1 draw.
A 4 - 1 away win to St Mirren just before the break, was perhaps a hint that things were maybe getting better up Inverness way, but the 1 - 0 defeat at home to Ayr after the re - start, suggests otherwise.
On the other hand the ever - consistent Clyde leave the days of their abysmal run of one win from their first seven games far behind them.
Their 14 match sequence since began with a defeat of ICT and which has now notched them up a far more impressive record of 10 victories, with only two draws and two defeats disrupting the romp.
Their last defeat was at Perth at the beginning of December and have since chalked up 3 wins and a draw from the next four matches.
STRANRAER 11/10 v Dumbarton
In the SFL 2nd Division - 4th - place Stranraer have lost just once in their last six home games. The blues are not yet out the promotion battle and despite a poor away record all the incentives appear to be on their side.
With only 7 wins from 22 games the Sons are in 7th place and seem to be slipping slowly towards the relegation zone. The blues ambitions will not help them.
Dundee v HIBERNIAN 6/4 (Playing Sunday Live on BBC1)
Hibs have dropped to 6th courtesy of 4 draws and two defeats in their last 10 prior to the break. But looked like getting back to earlier winning ways after a 2 - 0 defeat of Aberdeen followed by the 4 - 4 battle with Hearts before the break.
They re - started with a 2 - 0 defeat by Rangers, but the battle and determination is evident and a win at Dens is by no means any great task for the visitors.
Any sort of win however for 7th - place Dundee is becoming as rare as a mouse bouncer at a Wild Cats Nightclub. Only two victories out of 12 games pre - break.
Eight defeats make these stats look even more abysmal. Their 1 - 0 victory over off - the - boil Dunfermline when the season resumed last week may flatter them.
Suggested Bet: Perm 4 x £1.00 trebles + £1.00 fourfold=£5.00
Hearts\Clyde\Stranraer = £10.08
Hearts\Clyde\Hibs = £13.00
Hearts\Stranraer\Hibs = £10.50
Clyde\Stranraer\Hibs = £12.60
Fourfold returns £25.20 + all four trebles = £71.38
Best Of The Rest:
EPL - EVERTON EVS v Leeds
NW 1st Div - Bradford v IPSWICH EVS. MILLWALL 11/8 v Sheff Utd.
NW 2nd Div - BARNSLEY 6/4 v Swindon T.
NW 3rd Div - EXETER EVS v Shrewsbury. Lincoln v KIDDERMINSTER 15/8*
SPL – Livingstone v KILMARNOCK 8/5
SFL Div 2 – AIRDRIE UTD 7/5 v Brechin. Cowdenbeath v STENHOUSEMUIR 7/5
SFL Div 3 – EAST FIFE EVS v Stirling
All prices quoted from Wm Hills.