Scottish Cup Semi-Final Betting Preview



On the busiest gambling weekend of the year the attention of Scottish football turns away from league duty with eyes on the Scottish cup semi-finals. So before I take a look at the best prices for Motherwell vs Aberdeen and Celtic vs Rangers I've only one question for you? WHIT'S THE GOALIE DAIN TOM?!?

MOTHERWELL (11/4) vs (21/20) ABERDEEN Neither team will be pleased with their momentum going in to this one. Well haven't won since they beat Hearts in the quarter final to book this slot while the Dons saw a run of three wins on the spin ended with a disappointing 2-0 loss to Hearts last weekend that saw them relinquish 2nd spot in the league. Aberdeen don't always produce their best at Hampden, and have suffered more than their share of semi-final heartaches in recent times. Nonetheless, they go in to this fixture as clear favourites. Despite beating the Steelmen 2-0 at Fir Park less than a fortnight ago, Derek McInnes' team haven't found the going easy against Stephen Robinson's side this season. Motherwell eliminated the Dons from the league cup with a comfortable 3-0 win, a result Aberdeen avenged winning 1-0 in the league a few days later. Motherwell then won 2-0 at Pittodrie before the Dons won the most recent meeting in early April. The pattern suggests the pendulum should swing back to Motherwell this time round. And, with defeated teams having failed to score in all four meetings this season, the sequence says Well should win to nil. 5/1 is the price if you believe in the voodoo pattern going on here. I'm not so convinced. Despite Well drawing a blank in four of their last five games, I'm anticipating an exciting game ahead and do fancy both teams to score on the big stage. That particular outcome is priced at 9/10. I also think Aberdeen might have too much quality on the day. 21/20 is positive odds on the victory but 15/4 says Aberdeen win and both teams score. Ryan Christie has been a man for big moments for Aberdeen at times this season with his form earning him international recognition recently. If he plays well the Dons will trouble Well. He is 5/2 to find the net during 90 minutes. Aberdeen have also seen defenders open the scoring in both wins over Well this season. Kari Arnason, who got the ball rolling at Fir Park recently, is 14/1 to repeat the trick. Scott McKenna, and September matchwinner Andrew Considine are both priced at 16/1 to open the scoring. Any of the three could be worth a punt. Louis Moult was the man who was instrumental in both of Well's wins over the Dons this season but he is a distant memory for Stephen Robinson these days. Curtis Main has been burdened with replacing him, and to be fair the former Portsmouth man has done okay, netting six times since joining in January. He will be Well's most likely hero. 7/5 is a fair price on him marking his first Hampden appearance with a goal.

CELTIC (7/10) vs (18/5) RANGERS There can be no doubt that Rangers have closed the gap in quality between these two rivals this season, in a combination of their improvement and Celtic's decline. But Brendan Rodgers still holds the distinguished record of having never lost an Old Firm game. And his team are favourites to maintain that record on Sunday. Rangers can take solace in the fact that their last Old Firm win came in a Scottish Cup semi-final penalty shootout. Recent meetings also suggest the odds are perhaps a little unfairly stacked in Celtic's favour. Rangers ended a run of three games without a win by thrashing Dundee 4-0 at Ibrox last time out (and you'll recall of course that I tipped them to win to nil!). Meanwhile Celtic have been plodding along, failing to set the heather on fire but scraping towards a very decisive seventh successive title. They were very uninspiring in their last two outings, drawing with Dundee and claiming a narrow victory over Hamilton in a game that should have been out of sight. Jozo Simunovic was ordered off in the last meeting between these sides and there is usually plenty to keep the officials on their toes. In a highly competitive semi-final environment 7/4 that the game will see a red card looks tempting. Celtic's 3-2 win at Ibrox in March was full of drama, but the other two matches between the teams this year were less enthralling. Rangers have failed to score in four of nine meetings with Brendan Rodgers' Hoops so 6/5 that both teams won't score might look profitable. However, given the standard of both defences it might be wise to avoid that! Celtic to win and both teams to score at 12/5 would be my pick for this game. Celtic to win and under 4.5 goals at 21/20 represents a positive return while Celtic to win and under 3.5 goals at 31/20 might also be a good shout. Moussa Dembele has been a thorn in Rangers side since joining Celtic last summer with five Old Firm goals to his name. He will lead the attack on Sunday and is 21/20 to score at anytime or 16/5 for the opening goal. Scott Sinclair has struggled for form this season but he is another who has a good Old Firm scoring record. His recent form may seem him confined to the bench for kick-off but with his record against Rangers 5/1 for him to get off his backside and be the last goalscorer could be a good investment. Tom Rogic, whose penalty miss gave Rangers their last Old Firm triumph, has since returned to Hampden and become the Celtic hero. 9/4 says he scores in 90 minutes. With two Old Firm goals already this season that looks a good shout to me. Alfredo Morelos is probably still having nightmares about his Old Firm open goal howler at Ibrox in March. But there is no denying he has been an excellent signing for Rangers and will spearhead their attack at Hampden. 7/1 is available on the Colombian opening the scoring while 23/10 says he does what he failed to do from a few inches in March and finds the net. Both are worth your consideration. Josh Windass has been Rangers talisman for much of the season and 3/1 is good value on him to score at anytime while January signing Jamie Murphy is 10/3 to score for the third game in a row.

There is also a full fixture card in the Championship, League One and League Two while Hamilton and Kilmarnock complete the Premiership's pre-split matches in a re-arranged fixture at the Superseal. So here is your BEST OF THE REST...

* Kilmarnock are on a fine run of form and should have too much for Hamilton, who they beat comfortably at Rugby Park a fortnight ago. 4/5 is a generous price on them to keep up their excellent recent record. * St Mirren missed their first chance to wrap up the Championship title at challengers Dundee United in midweek. They get a second chance at home to their nearest rivals Livingston this weekend. They will no doubt be nervy but in front of what will surely be a huge home crowd they should have the class to make their return to the top flight formal. A home win that will make Paisley jubilant is evens. Livi are 11/4 to crash the party. If you think the nerves will get the better of Saints then you'll love that price. * Arbroath are all but guaranteed a play-off spot in League One after a very good season. Fifth placed Stranraer trail by six points (and a big goal difference) with nine points still up for graps. With The Blues on the road to leaders Ayr United the Lichties will feel a point at East Fife should be enough to wrap up their play-off place. But even money is a good price on Dick Campbell's team to get the three points that will make their place in the promotion showdown a lock. * Montrose returned to the top of League Two in midweek as they won their game in hand to leapfrog Peterhead at the top of the pile. Stewart Petrie's club have a three point advantage over the Blue Toon with only three fixtures remaining in a title race that looks set to go right to the wire. But both clubs should have home bankers this weekend against League Two's bottom two. 1/3 on Peterhead to beat Cowdenbeath and 1/2 that Montrose beat Berwick is a very reasonable offer considering the gap between the clubs.

So that is you all clued up. Head to our friends place your bets and sit back and enjoy watching the money roll in. Maybe. Our tips always come with a health warning. Don't get yourself in a mess and only gamble what you can afford to lose. For help and advice on gambling visit Happy punting!