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Friday, 25 October, 2002, 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
SPL predictions
Dundee United v Partick Thistle

Bottom-of -the-table United squandered a 2-0 lead against fellow strugglers Livingston last weekend, totally collapsing in the final 20 minutes to eventually lose 3-2.

Both United and Thistle have one solitary SPL win apiece, and those came at the beginning of September - strangely enough with narrow victories away to Aberdeen.

With neither side's strikers setting the goalscoring charts alight, the most likely result will be a low-scoring draw or a repeat of their opening day stalemate.

And that may not be quite enough for United caretaker boss Paul Hegarty, whose future at the club may depend on this result.

Prediction: Draw

Hearts v Dundee

The wheels came off Hearts' bandwagon in spectacular fashion last weekend when they were thrashed 4-1 at home by Celtic after losing two goals within the opening 10 minutes.

The Tynecastle side are unbeaten in the league outwith their encounters with the Old Firm and will be favourites to keep that particular record intact.

Dundee have drawn too many games and with better finishing from their strikers would surely find themselves further up the SPL table instead of languishing in mid-table mediocrity.

Prediction: Home win

Motherwell v Livingston

For Livingston fans it must seem a long time ago that their side notched up an opening day win over Well, seemingly picking up from where they left off last season.

But until their victory against Dundee last weekend, with an identical 3-2 scoreline, Livvie had failed to pick up another three points in the SPL during a miserable run that included six consecutive defeats.

In the same period Motherwell have fared little better, save for what should have been a morale-boosting 2-1 home win against Celtic last month.

Bizarrely Terry Butcher's young side then went on a run which saw them collect only one point from their subsequent five matches.

Prediction: Home win

Aberdeen v Hibernian

Aberdeen have hit a rich vein of form, unbeaten in their last five SPL games, a run which includes three straight wins.

But an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Dundee last weekend did little to enhance their recently improving reputation.

Meanwhile, Hibs are arguably the form side in the SPL with four wins on the bounce, cancelling out their opening four consecutive defeats.

For Bobby Williamson's team it's either a case of hit or miss, with no draws all season - but, they've had little luck on the road and that could continue to be the case at Pittodrie.

Prediction: Home win

Rangers v Kilmarnock

Until the recent Old firm derby draw at Parkhead, Rangers had failed to drop any points since their opening day slip-up at Rugby Park.

After that game they won their following eight SPL matches to go top of the table, scoring an impressive 25 goals in the process and conceding only two.

Meanwhile, Killie haven't registered a win since their narrow 1-0 defeat of Partick Thistle in early September.

Two points from their last five games is a lousy return from Jim Jefferies side, but they are unlikely to improve on this tally at Ibrox.

Prediction: Home win

Dunfermline v Celtic (kick off 1500 Sunday, live on BBC One Scotland)

Pars have been on the wrong end of several hidings against the defending SPL champions over the last few seasons.

Last year they leaked 17 goals in the four league matches with Martin O'Neil's side, managing a meagre one goal in reply.

Pars are much improved this season, with striker Stevie Crawford in scintillating form for club and country, but Celtic will go to East End Park in rampant form following their 4-1destruction of Hearts last weekend.

Dunfermline have failed to beat Celtic in 15 consecutive league matches going back over 5 years, and that dire run is unlikely to be halted on Sunday.

Prediction:Away win

Celtic boss Martin O'Neill
"Our players are in good form at the moment"
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

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