NAP – Aberdeen (10/11 Boylesports)
There has been a marked improvement in the Dons results and performances in the last few weeks. This has coincided with the arrival of new manager Stephen Glass. A win on the road to St Johnstone, was followed by a penalty shoot-out victory at Pittodrie last time out against Livingston.
The most impressive performance though, came in midweek against last season's champions, Celtic. Although shipping a last kick of the ball equaliser to the Hoops, the Granite City men could easily have scored 2 or 3 with a bit of luck.
Their opponents Dundee Utd are off the back of a 3-0 league defeat at Rugby Park against a resurgent Kilmarnock. The visitors' league season is coming to a satisfactory close, and with this quarter-final in mind, the Tangerines chose to rest seven first-teamers for the trip to Ayrshire.
The Taysiders opened up last August, with two impressive away wins on their return to the Premiership. Since then though, Micky Mellon's charges have only won on the road a further twice, and that was against the worst two teams in the league – Ross County and Hamilton.
After scraping past struggling League One side Forfar Athletic 1-0 in the last round, you wouldn't be rushing to back the Tannadice men on that evidence. Add to that, the continued speculation linking Mellon with a return down south, which also doesn't inspire confidence in a successful end to the campaign.
So taking everything into consideration, and the feel-good factor, that maybe more with the hosts than the visitors – Stephen Glass's Dons rate at this weekend’s NAP at 10/11 with BoyleSports.
Next best – Queen of the South (19/10 Bet365)
The Doonhamers after a terrible start, have actually had a very decent season. They have been great to watch, and have been a breath of fresh air (excuse the pun).
Ayr – AKA The Honest Men – in contrast, have had a poor season. Mark Kerr was replaced earlier this year, and if truth be told his replacement David Hopkin hasn't got much of a tune out of the South Ayrshire outfit either.
The hosts have one victory in their last seven matches. Goals have also been a big issue, only scoring once in the last four matches, and one of the blanks was in a home Scottish Cup tie against League One strugglers Clyde.
Allan Johnston's charges usually only have one way they can play, so an attacking approach to finish the season strongly can be expected here. The Dumfries visitors have scored in 16/17 in the last few months, so with a goal threat that Ayr don't seem to have at the moment, Bet365’s 19/10 quote on a win for the Doonhamers appeals.
Long shot – 11 draws (708185/1 Paddy Power)
With such a tricky, trappy card in Scotland this weekend, with a few titles having already been won, and with league splits having taken place – i thought I'd suggest a sporting wager, to hopefully give us a little bit of excitement, and more importantly a run for our money.
A lot of the games look extremely difficult to call, and I have a feeling there could be a few end of season draws. So I'm suggesting a permutation bet, of the following draws:
- Dundee v Raith
- Dunfermline v Arbroath
- Morton v Alloa
- East Fife v Dumbarton
- Falkirk v Cove
- Peterhead v Clyde
- Partick v Airdrie
- Albion Rovers v Annan
- Edinburgh City v Stirling Albion
- Stenhousemuir v Cowdenbeath
- Kilmarnock v St Mirren (Scottish Cup – Monday)
I am perming for 10p units, the following:
- 165 x 8 folds
- 55 x 9 folds
- 11 x 10 folds
- 1 x 11 fold
Bet cost = 232 bets at 10p = £23.20
If you're having a little go on this, please remember to gamble responsibly, and tweak the bet if necessary to suit your own budget.
Aberdeen vs Dundee United – Aberdeen to win (10/11 Boylespors)
Ayr vs Queen of the South – Queen of the South to win (19/10 Bet365)
11 draws (708185/1 Paddy Power)