SCOTTISH football bible Willie Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) shares his expert opinion on Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
Aberdeen v Celtic | Saturday 15:00 | Sky Sports
After Hibernian’s hoodoo-busting heroics in last year’s Scottish Cup final, Aberdeen will hope that it’s their turn to finally get their hands on the famous silverware again.
It’s true that the Dons haven’t been waiting for nearly as long as the Hibees had been – after all, it’s only been 27 years since Aberdeen were last Scottish Cup winners – but there is no doubt that Derek McInnes’ men are desperate for success.
Seventeen years have passed since Aberdeen got this close to Scottish Cup glory – and that final from 2000 is one that Dons fans will be happy to forget, although it is one that is likely to live long in the memory of many a neutral.
Aberdeen ‘keeper Jim Leighton was injured inside the opening minutes and, with the stopper unable to continue, it was down to striker Robbie Winters to pull on the gloves.
Rangers, Aberdeen’s opponents that day, were the main beneficiaries as they ran riot in a 4-0 win – Derek McInnes will surely be naming a substitute goalkeeper on Saturday!
Goals on the agenda
The way Celtic have played this season, Aberdeen might well be tempted to name two goalkeepers in their starting line-up, for the Hoops scored 106 goals and racked up 106 Premiership points this season – 30 points ahead of the Dons who were best of the rest.
Indeed, when these two teams last met, Celtic showed just how devastating they can be in the final third of the pitch, scoring three times at Pittodrie with each of the Hoops’ goals coming inside the opening 11 minutes of the game.
Aberdeen, however, are not too shabby themselves in attack; the Dons scored six against Partick Thistle last weekend – with five of those goals coming before half-time – and confidence will be high for, before that, Aberdeen recorded their first win against Rangers at Ibrox since 1991.
The betting angle
Last season’s Scottish Cup final between Hibernian and Rangers saw five goals scored in the game and punters seem likely to be treated to a similarly high-scoring encounter when these two teams lock horns at Hampden.
The odds compilers offer 28/17 (Unibet) that there are more than three goals scored when these teams renew their rivalry and snapping up that price could put punters on a path to profit ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
Aberdeen v Celtic – Over 3.5 Goals (28/17 Unibet)