/Team of the Week in the Scottish Premiership

Team of the Week in the Scottish Premiership

Celtic may have killed the title race once and for all on Sunday, but there’s still plenty of intrigue in the Scottish Premiership.

St Mirren took a crucial win over Dundee to move off the bottom, and it’s very much a three-way fight to avoid relegation.

Hamilton are right in the mix after being battered 5-0 by Kilmarnock, who now have ambitions of catching Rangers in second.

Meanwhile, Stephen Robinson’s young Motherwell team still have an outside chance of the top six after they saw off St Johnstone at Fir Park.

Here’s who shone in the Premiership this weekend.

GK: Allan McGregor (Rangers)

He may have conceded two goals, but Rangers had Allan McGregor to thank for keeping them in the game against Celtic.

The goalkeeper was called into action early on, spreading his body well to block from Olivier Ntcham, before pulling off a stunning save to tip Kieran Tierney’s rocket around the post.

Rangers came into the game second half, but would have been 2-0 down shortly after the break had McGregor not pulled off another save from Scott Sinclair.

RB: Stephen O’Donnell (Kilmarnock)

O’Donnell hasn’t been at his best in recent months, perhaps struggling with fatigue thanks to his Kilmarnock and Scotland commitments.

The summer saw the full-back travel to South America with the Scotland squad before returning for Killie’s League Cup campaign, and his trademark surges forward has been less frequent in the second half of the season.

Against Hamilton on Saturday he was at his rampaging best, completing 75 per cent of his crosses and combining brilliantly with Rory McKenzie.

CB: Kris Ajer (Celtic)

Partner Dedryck Boyata didn’t cover himself in glory before going off injured, but Ajer was a colossus at the back for Celtic.

The Norwegian sustained a cut to his head early on in the win over Rangers, but didn’t let that affect his game after he’d been stitched up.

Ajer kept Alfredo Morelos quiet before his red card and saved the three points for his side with a fantastic tackle on Joe Worrall. Bonus points for celebrating that tackle like a goal.

CB: John Souttar (Hearts)

It’s easy to forget that Souttar is still only 22, given he made his debut for Dundee United at the age of 16.

It’s not just the fact he’s been around for years though, with the centre-back showing the maturity that typifies his game in the win over Aberdeen.

Hearts went into the break 1-0 down but rallied in the second half, with Souttar dominant in the air against a direct Aberdeen side.

LB: Greg Taylor (Kilmarnock)

It’s often said that we’re unfortunate as a nation in that two of our top players, Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson are left-backs.

Spare a thought though for Killie’s Greg Taylor, who at the age of just 21 already has over 100 appearances under his belt and scored his first professional goal on Saturday.

The defender showed a great touch to control Youssouf Mulumbu’s pass before firing in a powerful finish – though he later admitted he just kicked it as hard as he could.

If he played in any other position, Taylor would surely be in with a shout of a Scotland call.

CM: Youssouf Mulumbu (Kilmarnock)

Mulumbu’s spell at Celtic is one of the strangest stories in Scottish football in recent years, with the Congo International making only one Premiership appearance.

Given the class he showed with Killie last season it seemed odd, and Mulumbu showed on Saturday he’s still a class above most midfielders in the league.

A fantastic diagonal ball set up Greg Taylor for the opener, before he got on the scoresheet himself in the second half.

CM: Stevie Mallan (Hibs)

In a game notably bereft of it, Mallan came up with a moment of class to help Hibs beat Livingston.

Lewis Stevenson’s ball into the box was more hopeful than anything, but the former St Mirren midfielder killed it with one touch before shifting onto his right foot.

Mallan didn’t panic when he saw the whites of Liam Kelly’s eyes, slotting the ball through the Livingston goalkeeper’s legs to secure all three points for his side.

CM: David Turnbull (Motherwell)

Motherwell’s youngsters have arguably been the story of the second half of the season, and while attention has been focused on Jake Hastie, his 19-year-old teammate is having a fine season too.

Turnbull scored the Steelmen’s second of the game with a clever finish through the defender’s legs, and was a key part of a crucial win for his side.

Motherwell still have slim hopes of making the top six, trailing Hibs by five points with two games still to play. Paul Heckingbottom’s side have tough games against Kilmarnock and Hearts to come though, and ‘Well will still believe they can do it.

RW: Rory McKenzie (Kilmarnock)

He’s not the most technically gifted player and isn’t even a fan favourite at Rugby Park, but McKenzie showed against Hamilton why he’s a valuable squad player for Steve Clarke.

The versatile 25-year-old got two assists, including a beautiful reverse ball to set up Youssouf Mulumbu, and left the field to a standing ovation.

Midfielder Gary Dicker said after the match that McKenzie doesn’t get enough credit, but he certainly did this weekend.

CF: Uche Ikpeazu (Hearts)

It’s some achievement getting into the team of the week when you’ve been guilty of one of the worst misses of the season.

Ikpeazu scuffed the ball wide of an open goal as Hearts chased an equaliser against Aberdeen, but he didn’t let that affect him.

The big striker bullied the Dons defence from the first whistle, and it was fitting that it was he who scored the winning goal and guaranteed Craig Levein’s side a top six place.

LW: Ryan Kent (Rangers)

He’s probably facing a lengthy ban for smacking Scott Brown, but Kent was one of Rangers’ best players against Celtic.

Moved into a central role after Alfredo Morelos was sent off, the on-loan Liverpool man sent Dedryck Boyata for a hot dog before scoring his side’s equaliser.

He’ll probably be in the stands for the next two games, and yesterday showed Rangers exactly what they’ll be missing.

You can follow Football Scotland here on Twitter and join the conversation on our Facebook page here. We also publish a nightly newsletter at around 5pm every week day, rounding up the latest stories and more. To sign up go here.

Read More

Scottish Premiership news