Look North – Semi-final setting more suited to Gerrard’s Rangers on Sunday


PROUD Scot (@chrisgraham79) pinpoints his best bet from the weekend Scottish action.

Aberdeen v Rangers | Sunday 20th October 2018, 16:30

What a glorious day we have coming up on Sunday in Scotland. Back to back League Cup semi-finals dominate the day with Hearts v Celtic the hors d'œuvre followed by a potentially bitter clash between Aberdeen and Rangers. The hackneyed phrase Super Sunday seems somewhat appropriate for a change.

Hearts look too big in the opener at 5/1 at Murrayfield but the way they surrendered so meekly against Rangers earlier in the month makes me think they may struggle when the pressure is on this season. We'll certainly find out in the next couple of weeks.

It's the other semi-final that attracts me more from a betting point of view as I'm keen to get with Rangers. In all honesty I'm breaking one of my rules as the thought of taking on the Old Firm post-Europa League Thursdays has held real appeal. But while Celtic have won and lost on the back of Europa League games Rangers are two wins from two.

After the Ibrox side secured a superb away draw against Villarreal in September they followed that up with a 5-1 win against St Johnstone at home. And even more impressively they beat league leaders Hearts 3-1 after beating Rapid Wein by the same scoreline three days earlier. The negative now though is that they're away from their beloved Ibrox.

Yes, Rangers have four wins out of four in Govan in the Premiership this season but just one league win from five when on the road. It's a concern.

Dons out of sorts

More concerning though is the form of Aberdeen this season. Derek McInnes's side are detached in seventh place in the league, five points behind the Top 6. The Dons have only beaten struggling Dundee, Motherwell and St Mirren in the league this season and have failed to get past St Johnstone and lost to Kilmarnock.

The Pittodrie club have scored just 10 league goals in 2018/19 (12 fewer than Rangers) and have scored Over 1.5 Team Goals just once in their nine fixtures. They look flat and a shadow of their 2017/18 vintage.

Another negative for Aberdeen is their inability to rise to the occasion. When the stakes increase, this team fold under McInnes. Their record against Celtic (their closest rivals in recent seasons) since May 2016 is P12 W1 D0 L11 (their sole victory was a dead rubber for Celtic on the final day of last season).

Against Rangers it's a little better but figures of P9 W2 D2 L5 since the Glasgow club returned to the top-flight hardly inspire.

Big game flops

More negatives for Aberdeen? Well their recent Cup record also points to a fragility when the pressure is on. They lost 3-0 to Motherwell in the Scottish Cup semi-finals last season, lost comfortably in both domestic finals to Celtic the season before and bottled it in semi-finals in 2014/15 (v Dundee United) and 2013/14 (v St Johnstone) under McInnes. It doesn't bode well.

Rangers on the other hand (with the exception of the Old Firm match last month) have rose to the occasion. They've been in the Europa League since July and still remain unbeaten despite a number of high-octane fixtures. Domestically they came out the traps magnificently against Hearts at the start of the month in a key fixture. The spirit of their manager certainly comes across in this team.

Sunday's match at Hampden is big and all evidence points to Rangers playing the part in this epic more competently than Aberdeen. I'm happy to back them at 5/6 to win in 90.

Best Bets

Aberdeen v Rangers – Rangers to win (5/6 188BET)

About Author

Chris first got interested in betting back in 2000 when he began working in betting shops throughout Scotland. He has remained in the industry ever since, specialising in marketing and PR roles. Outside of betting, his interests are listening to Blur and following Queen Of The South.

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