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Talking points for Saturday's Scottish football action

We look at where the big stories may come from in the weekend's fixtures.

Focus: Neil Lennon takes his Hibs side to Ibrox.
Focus: Neil Lennon takes his Hibs side to Ibrox. SNS Group

The opening weekend of the SPFL provided plenty of thrills and after a cracking midweek cup card it is time to return to the early stages of the league season.

Even with very little football played there are early indications of who may succeed and who may struggle.

We have looked ahead to Saturday's action to see what stories may have us all talking.

Lennon and Stokes make Ibrox return

Anthony Stokes and Neil Lennon have teamed up again at Hibs.
Anthony Stokes and Neil Lennon have teamed up again at Hibs. SNS

The first meeting between Rangers and Hibs since the 2016 Scottish Cup final might not carry any extra significance for Pedro Caixinha, who gave a firm "no" when asked if the game would have added edge, but most will be expecting an interesting reception for some of the visiting party.

For Anthony Stokes, that may come from his contribution to that Hampden experience, when he scored two goals to help the Edinburgh side end their long, long wait for the trophy.

Or perhaps it will come from his previous connection with Celtic, though the striker said this week he expects Neil Lennon to take the heat off him as the former Hoops player and manager returns to Ibrox.

It is the duo's present form that makes the match the most intriguing of this weekend's Premiership fixtures, though.

Hibs have scored 21 goals in six games so far this season.

Lennon guided his side to a 3-1 win in their opening league match against Partick Thistle and Stokes bagged a double on his third Hibs 'debut' in a 5-0 rout of Ayr United on Tuesday.

They meet a Rangers side that seems to bouncing back well from their Europa League nightmare.

An opening day Premiership win against Motherwell may have been narrow but they also piled in the goals in the midweek cup action with six against Dunfermline, four of those goals coming from summer signings.

Two sides with similar aspirations going head to head early in the season? Both in prolific goalscoring form? A little bit of history to add some spice? Sounds like a recipe for entertainment.

May day for Aberdeen

Deal: May joined Aberdeen on Thursday.
Deal: May joined Aberdeen on Thursday. SNS Group

It is a happy piece of circumstance that allows Aberdeen's newest recruit to celebrate their greatest hour on the back of his shirt but Stevie May's contribution to the club should be far greater than a marketing gimmick.

The striker's signing is the latest piece of canny recruitment by Derek McInnes' side and if May is pitched in to the action against Ross County on Saturday it could be the first step to restoring a career that still seems as full of potential as when he left St Johnstone to join Sheffield Wednesday three years ago.

Then, he was a 21-year-old who had risen rapidly on the back of more than 40 goals in two seasons and had forged a reputation as one of the league's most dangerous forwards.

The time passed since then could act as another cautionary tale for heading south too soon but May's problems in England were not so much loss of form as lack of opportunity.

That should not be a concern at Pittodrie, where May has been pursued all summer, and McInnes will know the new signing's instincts can make the most of the chances provided by Ryan Christie, Kenny McLean, Gary Mackay-Steven and company.

Jamie Walker's return could boost Hearts

Back: Walker is in Hearts' squad.
Back: Walker is in Hearts' squad. SNS Group

Jamie Walker is set to make his return to the Hearts squad this weekend having been dropped for the season opener against Celtic.

It was the player's second game on the sidelines after Ian Cathro left him out of the League Cup match against Dunfermline.

Jon Daly omitted the winger from his squad for the trip to Parkhead, echoing Cathro's belief that Walker's levels had dropped amid interest from Rangers.

His performances in training this week have convinced the interim boss the 24-year-old is ready for SPFL action.

Walker's return is a timely boost for the crisis-hit club, with the Scot adding much-needed quality to an attack that has looked bereft of ideas.

With the capability to go past his man and finish chances, the want-away wideman could be the talisman Daly leans on as he presses his case for permanent residence as Hearts head coach.

Derby day in Greenock 

Jack Ross and Jim Duffy will go head to head this weekend.
Jack Ross and Jim Duffy will go head to head this weekend. SNS

St Mirren's Championship woes last season were made far worse as they ran in tandem with Morton's promotion push, which ended in play-off defeat to Dundee United.

A long-standing unbeaten run against their rivals from Greenock was ended and there was little doubt about who held local bragging rights at the end of the season.

The Saints' primary concern was avoiding the drop, of course, and the remarkable turnaround that saw them climb to safety included a 4-1 win at Cappielow in April.

On Saturday, the old foes meet at the same venue with both harbouring ambitions to make the play-offs at least.

St Mirren, having continued revamping the squad under Jack Ross, recorded an opening day win against Falkirk that's kept hopes high.

Morton provide another difficult test in a start to the season that sees them play all the play-off favourites in quick succession.

Manager Jim Duffy was content with a clean sheet in their 0-0 draw at Dumbarton last weekend but wanted more sharpness up front.

If his attacking players can bring their A game then it could contribute to a fascinating contest.

Are Ayr ready to rise again?

Ayr United celebrate their League Cup Ayrshire derby win.
Ayr United celebrate their League Cup Ayrshire derby win. SNS

A blistering start to the season saw Ayr United win all their League Cup group games and score for fun in the process.

They hit the ground running in the league as well, thumping Albion Rovers 5-1 on opening day.

The second round of the cup brought them back down to Earth with a bump as they were on the receiving end of a 5-0 hammering from Hibs.

That should not derail a side that harbours ambitions of Championship football next season and they have the opportunity to get back on track against Forfar.

Gary Bollan's side had a good start against Airdrie but could come unstuck at Somerset Park if Ayr have not suffered any hangover from a cup defeat that was hardly a surprise.

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