The final Saturday before Christmas sees all four Scottish Premiership fixtures taking place this afternoon with the confirmed starting XIs coming in from Livingston v Ross County, Rangers v Dundee United, Dundee Hearts and Motherwell v St Johnstone.
⚽ It's shaping up to be another cracking weekend of #cinchSPFL action! 🔥
Enjoy your football if you're heading to a game! 🤩 pic.twitter.com/1b4TyZi9Zd
— SPFL (@spfl) December 18, 2021
As concerns continue to grow over Covid severely impacting the season, there’s plenty taking place on the pitch to distract from all the off-pitch noise as the Premiership enters the final run of games before the winter break.
Despite a host of fixtures in England falling victim to Covid, none of the fixtures in Scotland have been forced to be postponed as the Scottish Premiership reaches the halfway point and matchday 19 of 38.
Dundee United have several players missing after positive Covid tests this week while local rivals Dundee and St Johnstone also have one or two players out as a result of coronavirus.
However, Scottish football has avoided the worst of it so far and hopefully it can continue that way and we avoid a return to behind closed doors games or even seeing the season suspended.
With the bottom three sides all in action this afternoon, there could be lots of movement at the foot of the table, while Hearts, Dundee United and Motherwell will all be looking to get vital wins in the push for third place.
Aberdeen, St Mirren, Hibs and Celtic all have the weekend off from league action thanks to the Premier Sports Cup final between Celtic and Hibs tomorrow afternoon but there should be lots of talking points once today’s games are completed.
Here are the starting XIs from all four of this afternoon’s Scottish Premiership fixtures:
Livingston v Ross County
Livi have never lost to Ross County at home in the Scottish Premiership, winning all three meetings between the sides in the top flight. The Staggies have only won once away from home this season but have recently seen their form pick up and helping lift them off the foot of the table.
Here's how the Lions line-up against Ross County this afternoon.
LIV vs ROSS | #LFCLive | #cinchPremiership pic.twitter.com/jVVDNK38Ue
— Livingston FC (@LiviFCOfficial) December 18, 2021
Todays line up to face Livingston this afternoon… pic.twitter.com/dkxNCCS5Ba
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) December 18, 2021
Rangers v Dundee United
Dundee United won last time the sides met in the league but haven’t won back-to-back games over Rangers since March 1997. The Arabs have lost each of their last three games while Rangers have won five out of five under new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
🆕 Today's #RangersFC team to face Dundee United at Ibrox.
🗒️ Full Team News: https://t.co/JAGNbHs47x
📺 Watch Live on RangersTV: https://t.co/6maF6a6yQ3 pic.twitter.com/J4ZWYZpNiu
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) December 18, 2021
📋🆕 | Here's how we line-up against @RangersFC at Ibrox this afternoon. Kick-off is at 3pm 🕒
Come on United 🧡🖤#UnitedTogether pic.twitter.com/NxlxM5ckxj
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) December 18, 2021
Dundee v Hearts
Dundee have won both of their last two home Scottish Premiership matches and are looking to make it three-in-a-row at home in the top-flight for the first time since doing it in April 2002 under Ivano Bonetti while Hearts head to Dens Park looking to avoid back-t0-back league defeats for the first time since February last year; losing to Rangers at Tynecastle last weekend.
TEAM LINES | Today’s team #thedee pic.twitter.com/ZNZQWzxTz9
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) December 18, 2021
📋 TEAM NEWS
Your Hearts side to face Dundee this afternoon…
📲 https://t.co/Dx99f5LG6w pic.twitter.com/emnA00LSwF
— Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) December 18, 2021
Motherwell v St Johnstone
Motherwell have won both of their previous two Scottish Premiership games at Fir Park, recording a clean sheet in the process but have a fairly poor record against St Johnstone recently; Callum Davidson’s side unbeaten in their last three games against the Steelmen.
Your Motherwell team to face St Johnstone in the cinch Premiership.
// #MFCvSJFC pic.twitter.com/oIwgLwBtDx
— Motherwell FC (@MotherwellFC) December 18, 2021
🔵⚪️| Today’s XI to face @MotherwellFC.
C’MON YOU SAINTS! #SJFC pic.twitter.com/6P4un2VFnv
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) December 18, 2021
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