SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) delivers his verdict on Sunday’s Scottish FA Cup semi-final showdown between old rivals Rangers and Celtic.
Rangers v Celtic | Sunday 12.00 | Sky Sports 2
As expected, Rangers strolled through the first half of their Hampden double-bill as Mark Warburton’s side crushed Peterhead 4-0 in last week’s Petrofac Training Cup final.
It hasn’t been a bad couple of weeks for the men from Ibrox; first they sealed the Championship with a win against Dumbarton at Ibrox and that was followed by the dismantling of Jim McIntyre’s outfit last weekend.
However, I’d imagine that for almost every Rangers fan, those achievements will be eclipsed this weekend if they can beat their bitter rivals Celtic and secure a place in next month’s Scottish Cup final.
I’ve got a feeling, though, that Warburton and his team are going to be left feeling blue when they come up against Ronny Deila’s men.
Admittedly, predicting the outcome of Celtic matches this season has often been about as easy as picking six numbers in the Lottery, but I expect that the Hoops will be finely tuned and fully focused for Sunday’s showdown.
Back-to-back clean sheets may have soothed some Rangers nerves, but there’s no getting away from the fact that Rangers shipped nine goals in three Championship matches prior to that.
This will be frenetic and feisty, but ultimately, it’s the defending Scottish champions (and they will almost certainly retain their crown within a few weeks) against a Championship team – albeit one that has won the second tier at a canter this season.
The odds compilers aren’t daft and the gulf between the teams has been emphasised by the fact that you can get Rangers at more than 4/1 – a price that has got followers of Warburton’s men licking their lips.
I’m not interested in backing Celtic at 4/6, though, and given the inconsistency of the men from Parkhead, I won’t be backing them (-1) at 17/10 in the handicap market.
The 8/11 quote for more than two goals to be scored, though, looks to be rock solid and it is, definitely, the way to play ahead of Sunday’s Cup crunch at Hampden Park.
Rangers v Celtic – Over 2.5 Goals (8/11 Betfred)
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