PROUD Scot (@chrisgraham79) pinpoints his best bet from the weekend Scottish action.
Celtic v Aberdeen | Sunday 2nd December 2018, 15:00
One of the great features of the Scottish season is that the League Cup is wrapped up and finished before the festivities of Christmas get going. It feels right and fair that one of the domestic trophies are awarded in the opening half of the season rather than stacking them all up at the tail-end of the campaign.
Having said that, the line up for Sunday's final could easily be that of a Scottish Cup Final as Celtic face Aberdeen, indeed, the sides met in last year's end of season showdown.
Truth be told, both sides have under-performed so far this season. Celtic have now regained a firm holding at the top of the Premiership but there's no doubt it was a flat autumn for the champions.
Aberdeen sit sixth in the table with a win ratio of less than 50% this Premiership season. It's been a stop-start campaign for the Dons and a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Motherwell on the back of four straight wins just sums up their 2018/19 so far. Frustrating.
This match on Sunday has a different kind of vibe though as it's a Cup Final. Many people (myself included) didn't give the North East club too much of a chance against Rangers in the semi-final but a late winner by Lewis Ferguson saw them through to the showpiece. They were stoic that day without being spectacular, and that might not be enough on Sunday.
For such a big club it's incredible that you have to go back to 1995 to find the last time they won a domestic Cup Final in 90 minutes. Since that 2-0 League Cup Final win over Dundee the Dons have lost in two League Cup Finals and two Scottish Cup Finals.
Three of those four Cup Final defeats came against Celtic and it's fair to say they've historically found it tough against the East Glasgow side. Since Brendan Rodgers took over at Parkhead Aberdeen have a shameful record of W1-D0-L10 against his side. The one solitary win came at the end of last season when Celtic had already won the league. Celtic are a hurdle that Aberdeen consistently fail to vault.
The Rodgers-era at Celtic has been defined by their lustful fulfilled desire for domestic trophies. The league-Scottish Cup-League Cup treble was achieved in 2016/17 and that was repeated last season. This year it's all about the treble treble.
So here we find Celtic in natural terrain, a domestic Cup Final. This is when they're at their clinical best. Over the preceding two seasons under Rodgers they're P4 W4 D0 L0 F9 A1 in these games. Calm, composed and clinical.
At times this season we've seen Celtic struggle to get up for league matches but when the tension has been turned up they've delivered. We saw them outclass Rangers in the Old Firm game in September and they dismantled Hearts in the second half of the semi-final of this competition. Sunday should provide a platform for them to raise their game again.
Tapping into Celtic's big-match mentality and Aberdeen's woes against the club generally I'll back the Glasgow side to win by two or more goals on Sunday at a fair 13/10.
Celtic v Aberdeen – Celtic -1.5 Asian Handicap (13/10 188BET)