Kilmarnock get the post-split section of their Scottish Premiership season underway on Saturday by welcoming Aberdeen to Ayrshire. Killie boss Steve Clarke has been heavily linked with the vacant Scotland manager’s job this week, after the dismissal of Alex McLeish. Clarke has insisted that he remains fully focused on taking Kilmarnock into Europe for the first time since 2001. He has also dismissed rumours linking him with taking over as Fulham manager next season.
Aberdeen are currently in fourth place in the Premiership table, one place behind Killie on goal difference. The Dons have won their last two league matches, but head into this game at Rugby Park on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Celtic at Hampden Park in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup last weekend.
Kilmarnock vs Aberdeen Prediction: Killie 1-1 Dons
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in a draw, with 1-1 looking a likely outcome. Killie are unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, with their last defeat coming away at Livingston on February 23. The Dons have won their last two league matches, and will want to get back to winning ways after their Cup loss to Celtic last week. The sides are very evenly matched, as is shown by their positions in the league, and they could end up cancelling each other out this weekend. We think that things will be tight.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Coral, who are offering odds of 7/2 on the game being a draw with both teams scoring. We think that this bet offers some good value in terms of the odds on offer, and it also matches our prediction, which is that the match will end 1-1. These sides are very well matched, and this game is sure to be tight. This game also gives you a little bit of flexibility when it comes to the precise final scoreline. We expect that both teams will score but neither will manage to find a winning edge.
These two sides have met on three previous occasions this season, with all three of those games being in the Scottish Premiership. The first game was on September 1 at Pittodrie, and was won 2-0 by Killie. Eamonn Brophy and Greg Stewart scored the goals. Aberdeen got revenge at Rugby Park on November 4, when they won 2-1. Kris Boyd scored first for Killie with a penalty before Bruce Anderson and Lewis Ferguson scored for Aberdeen. The third game at Pittodrie on January 26 ended 0-0. Kilmarnock’s Kris Boyd was sent off.
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Players to watch: Kris Boyd & Sam Cosgrove
Veteran striker Kris Boyd remains a key man for Killie. The former Rangers and Scotland man has scored six goals in all competitions in 2018/19 in 22 appearances. He scored one of the goals in last week’s 2-0 win over St Johnstone, netting from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute. Although not the force he was when he was younger, Boyd still knows how to find the net when the pressure is on.
Aberdeen striker Sam Cosgrove has 20 goals to his name in all competitions in 2018/19. He was on target twice in last week’s 2-0 win over Dundee, scoring both of his goals in the second half with one coming from the penalty spot. Of his 20 goals, 16 have been scored in the Scottish Premiership, and he has also provided two assists for his team-mates in the league. He is a man that Killie will need to watch this weekend.