Title race tension, European football hopes & relegation battle fears

Another title race twist? Who will occupy the final European spot? What next in the battle against relegation?

With just four games to go – the stakes are huge in the Scottish Premiership this weekend.

The Sky Sports cameras will be at Ibrox on Sunday for Rangers versus Kilmarnock, while every other match will be covered on Sky Sports News and in our live blog on the Sky Sports app and website.

Here’s a look at what’s to play for this weekend…

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Rangers' Abdallah Sima scores to make it 2-0 vs Kilmarnock
Rangers face Kilmarnock at Ibrox live on Sky Sports on Sunday

Rangers host Kilmarnock at Ibrox as Philippe Clement’s side look to keep touch with Celtic in the title race while Killie aim to all but seal fourth spot.

It is a fixture Rangers have won eight out of the last nine times in the league – the exception being a 1-0 victory for Derek McInnes’ side on the opening day of this season – while Kilmarnock’s last six visits to Ibrox have ended in defeat.

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However, Rangers go into this having won just one of their last four games at home and conceded in all of those matches.

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock are unbeaten in each of their last five league games and could win back-to-back top-flight matches on the road for the first time since October 2020.

Can Hearts shock Celtic again?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 16: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers and Hearts head coach Steven Naismith during a cinch Premiership match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park, on December 16, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has lost his last two league games against Hearts ahead of Saturday’s game

Hearts have won their last two league games against Celtic and if they extend that run on Saturday it will be their longest winning run against the Hoops since 1961.

A 2-0 win at Celtic Park in December means this visit to Glasgow could see Steven Naismith’s side make it consecutive league wins at Celtic for the first time in over 60 years.

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Highlights of a dramatic last meeting between Hearts and Celtic in the Scottish Premiership

Brendan Rodgers’ side, however, are flying with six wins in their last seven home league games and have scored 13 times in their last three victories as they bid to seal a third consecutive title.

Hearts boast a good run of form too – losing just two of their last 18 league games – and are unbeaten in their last four and closing in on sealing third place.

Dundee face St Mirren in race for Europe

PAISLEY, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 07: St Mirren's Toyosi Olusanya celebrates after making it 2-0 during a cinch Premiership match between St Mirren and Dundee at the SMiSA Stadium, on February 07, 2024, in Paisley, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
St Mirren are fifth in the Premiership as they lead the race for the last European spot

Just two points separate St Mirren and Dundee ahead of Saturday’s meeting at Dens Park as both clubs chase a Europa Conference League qualifying spot.

The hosts know a win is key if they are to go from celebrating promotion to reaching Europe within the space of a year.

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Dundee won the last time St Mirren visited Dens Park

It is a fixture where home advantage has counted this season, with St Mirren winning both games in Paisley and the last game in Dundee ending 4-0 to the hosts – a result that remains their biggest win in the league since 2018.

Both teams have struggled for form recently – with Dundee winless in four and St Mirren losing their last three Premiership games. It is a run they will both want to end – but who will come out on top?

Livingston to avoid relegation at Motherwell?

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Livingston manager David Martindale during a Scottish Cup Fifth Round match between Partick Thistle and Livingston, at the Wyre Stadium at Firhill, on February 10, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ewan Bootman / SNS Group)
Livingston boss David Martindale knows a win at Motherwell is key if his side are to avoid an expected relegation

After victory over Ross County last weekend, Livingston could do with another win at Motherwell as they bid to avoid relegation.

David Martindale’s side are nine points adrift at the bottom with four games to go and are winless in their last 15 top-flight visits to Motherwell – a run that stretches back to 2002.

Motherwell meanwhile have lost just one of their last 13 league meetings with Livingston, however, have failed to win any of their last four home Premiership matches.

Will Ross County move out of play-off spot?

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Ross County came from behind to draw with Hibernian the last time the teams met

Ahead of Livingston are Ross County who are battling to avoid finishing in the relegation play-off spot.

The Staggies are just a point behind 10th-place St Johnstone but host a Hibernian side who have lost just one of their last six league visits to Dingwall.

However, Hibs have won just one of their last eight Premiership matches on the road and Ross County are unbeaten in each of their last five top-flight home games – winning three – which is their longest run since April 2022.

Can St Johnstone move clear of bottom two?

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St Johnstone beat Aberdeen last time out and are yet to lose against the Dons in the league this season

In the week that it was confirmed St Johnstone will be sold to American lawyer Adam Webb, the club will be hoping a new era begins in the top flight.

Craig Levein’s side are just a point clear of 11th-placed Ross County and go into this fixture having lost four of their last five league games.

However, they visit an Aberdeen side who they beat 2-0 earlier this season and another win on Saturday would make it back-to-back Premiership wins over the Dons for the first time since 2015.

Aberdeen have edged away from the bottom two with two wins in their last three home games and will be hoping to end the season well before new boss Jimmy Thelin takes over in June.

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