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Preview: Hamilton Academical vs. Ross County - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Premiership game between Hamilton Academical and Ross County, including team news and predicted lineups.

Hamilton Academical play host to Ross County on Saturday afternoon having started the new Scottish Premiership campaign with a 5-1 defeat at Celtic.

Meanwhile, Ross County recorded the result of matchday one, edging out last season's third-placed side St Johnstone.


Match preview

Celtic's Ryan Christie in Scottish Premiership action with Hamilton Academical's Shaun Want on August 3, 2020© Reuters

Having narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship last season, Hamilton boss Brian Rice would have been less than thrilled when a trip to Celtic represented the club's first game of the new campaign.

As expected, the Accies struggled against the defending champions, conceding four goals in the opening 53 minutes on the way to suffering a 5-1 defeat.

Nevertheless, Rice will now be relieved that the visit to the all-conquering Glasgow giants is out of the way for the first half of the season, leaving them to focus on more winnable games in the future.

To their credit, they still managed seven shots at Celtic Park, with their consolation effort coming via an own goal, but succumbing so tamely leaves Rice with much to ponder ahead of welcoming Ross County to New Douglas Park.

Like their hosts, Ross County were not too far away from losing their top-flight status earlier this year, only remaining ahead of Hearts by six points.

However, after making some shrewd additions in the summer, Stuart Kettlewell watched his side respond with a hugely-impressive victory over opponents who will have eyes of European qualification.

Although the decisive goal came from the penalty spot, County battled hard to keep a clean sheet after finishing last season with the worst defensive record in the division.

While it is still early days, Kettlewell and his squad have something to work with heading into an encounter versus a team who they will regard as direct rivals when it comes to avoiding the drop.

Hamilton Academical Scottish Premiership form: L

Ross County Scottish Premiership form: D


Team News

Hamilton midfielder Ronan Hughes has been ruled out for the foreseeable future with a hamstring injury.

Charlie Trafford and Ciaran McKenna will hope to feature after coming off the substitutes' bench last weekend.

As for Ross County, Kettlewell could opt to retain the same starting lineup.

Long-serving Ross Draper and recent arrival Regan Charles-Cook are pushing for a recall.

Hamilton Academical possible starting lineup:
Fulton; Odoffin, Hamilton, Want, McMann; Smith, Callachan, Martin, Ogkmpoe; Moyo, Winter

Ross County possible starting lineup:
Laidlaw; Randall, Donaldson, Iacovitti, Reid; Paton, Vigurs, Tillson; Erwin, McKay, Stewart


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We say: Hamilton Academical 1-2 Ross County

While Hamilton will be eager to bounce back from last weekend's humiliation, we were impressed with Ross County's performance in their opening match. Providing that they can produce a similar level of display, the visitors could prevail by the odd goal in three.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Away Win:data

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers5401104612
2Hibernian5320104611
3Hearts532073411
4Motherwell531185310
5Celtic5302163139
6Aberdeen52216518
7Dundee UnitedDundee Utd521224-27
8St Johnstone503224-23
9Dundee5032411-73
10St Mirren5032310-73
11Ross County5023311-82
12Livingston501429-71

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