Rob Maclean: Veteran Kris Boyd on top of his game, Kristoffer Ajer on the rise

Kris Boyd earned Kilmarnock a third successive home win with his brace of goals
Kris Boyd earned Kilmarnock a third successive home win with his brace of goals

Commentator Rob Maclean provides his take on another weekend of Scottish football action.

Boyd keeps banging in the goals

Kris Boyd's critics tend to focus on his waistline or his hairline rather than the bottom line - which is his enduring ability to score goals.

Post-war, only three players have hit the net more often than Boyd in Scottish top flight football.

And the 34-year-old striker shows no signs of giving up the habit. He's always had that uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time.

Boyd scored both goals in Kilmarnock's 2-1 defeat of Rangers at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Merry Kris has revelled in a festive flurry of five goals in his last four games and he is again into double figures for the season.

Ajer growing in stature for Celtic

Kristoffer Ajer has been an increasingly assured figure at the heart of the Celtic defence
Kristoffer Ajer has been an increasingly assured figure at the heart of the Celtic defence

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has always been ahead of the game. As a 16-year-old he became the youngest player to captain a team in the Norwegian top division.

At 17 he signed for Celtic. More and more, that looks like one of the smartest moves made by then manager Ronny Deila.

Ajer was toughened up with a loan move to Kilmarnock for the second half of last season when he continued his graduation from midfielder to centre back.

That's a problem position at Celtic and Brendan Rodgers has picked the Scandinavian teenager in his team four times already this month.

The six foot five Ajer made a big impression in Saturday's 3-0 home win against Aberdeen and he could become increasingly difficult to leave out.

Relegation issue to run and run

Ross County prop up the Premiership; one point behind Partick Thistle
Ross County prop up the Premiership; one point behind Partick Thistle

I don't see an obvious answer to the Premiership relegation question. In fact, your guess is probably as good as mine.

Ross County is the new name in bottom spot after losing 2-1 to Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday. It's now seven games since Owen Coyle's team managed to win.

Partick Thistle, Dundee and Hamilton are only marginally better off with the bottom four separated by only four points.

Motherwell could be dragged into the drop zone as well. They're struggling to cope with the loss of goal machine Louis Moult.

But all of them have potential for winning and it's a battle that's unlikely to be settled any time soon.

Top two ready for Championship tussle

St Mirren came from 2-0 down to beat Queen of the South on Saturday
League leaders St Mirren host nearest challengers Dundee United on Friday

Who will lead the Championship going into 2018? I'm looking forward to finding out in Paisley on Friday night.

St Mirren have a two-point edge over Dundee United at the moment as the title rivals prepare to go head to head, but they're both on top form.

Saints have won five of their past six games including a remarkable recovery from two down in six minutes at Dumfries on Saturday to beat Queen of the South 3-2.

United are unbeaten in five Championship matches since Csaba Laszlo replaced Ray McKinnon as manager.

Whatever happens on the second last night of the year, it looks like those two will continue to scrap it out for automatic promotion to the Premiership.

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