In Form Arabs To Take Advantage Of Managerless Accies
Hamilton v Dundee Utd
Monday’s intriguing Scottish Premiership match between Hamilton Academicals and Dundee United come from New Douglas Park at 7.45pm.
Following promotion from the Scottish Championship last season, Hamilton began life in the Scottish Premiership with just one defeat in their opening 10 games of the season. A comparatively subdued October and November would follow, but a recent run of four wins from five games have lifted Accies back up to third ahead of this weekend.
But that success has come at a price, with manager Alex Neil moving on to Norwich City this week. He leaves with best wishes from everyone at Hamilton Academicals Football Club and with the club in an extremely sound position.
Anthony Andreu is the top scorer for the season with 13 league and cup goals, including two in his last two, while Mickael Antoine-Currier has eight to his name for the campaign.
Dundee United are also enjoying a stellar season, epitomised by the New Years Day 6-2 demolition of rivals Dundee at Tannadice. The Terrors have won five and lost just two of their last eight games in all competitions and, as well as still being in the hunt for the Scottish Premiership title, they also have a Scottish League Cup semi-final to look forward to.
Gary Mackay-Steven has marked his return to the starting XI with three goals in his last two games, while top scorer Nadir Ciftci now has nine for the season.
Veteran striker Jason Scotland has left the club in search of first-team football, with 23-year-old midfielder Lee Lynch joining from Limerick on the same day; the Irishman could make his debut for Hamilton this Monday.
United could hand a debut to striker Simon Murray, who joined from Arbroath just last week after impressing with 18 goals this season for the League Two club. Mackay-Steven is also likely to continue in the starting XI after he was left out for a few weeks while his long-term future was clarified. The 24-year-old is expected to remain at the club until his contract expires in the summer despite recent bids.
This season’s previous meeting between the two teams, at Tannadice, finished 2-2 after United were reduced to 10 men just before half time following Ciftci’s red card. The Dutchman had previously put the Terrors ahead before goals from Antonie-Curier and Andreu put Hamilton in front then Jaroslaw Fojut equalised on the stroke of half-time.
When Dundee United get it right, they can beat any team in this division. The problem is that when they’re not on top of their game they can be beaten by anyone in the league.
Fortunately for the Arabs, they tend to be on their game more often than not this season and odds of 19/10 on them picking up three points against a team that have just recently lost their manager looks to be good value.
Mackay-Steven has been revitalised since his return to the side 10 days ago and at odds of 11/5 looks a good side bet in the anytime scorer market.