The semi-finals of the Scottish Cup take place this weekend at Hampden Park as the four remaining sides in this year’s tournament aim to win and take a step closer to collecting world football’s oldest trophy. It’s a beautiful prize and one any team in Scotland would be proud to own, but what colour will the ribbons be after the final whistle? Here are our Scottish Cup semi-finals betting tips.
Bookmakers have had their say and you can bet on hundreds of markets, both pre-match and in-play, on the semi-final games, or jump the queue and bet on the outright winner thanks to the updated antepost betting. The prices will be altered following Saturday’s first semi, then again after Sunday’s, giving you a pick between the two sides left in the running.
Going into the weekend we see odds-makers have been quick to throw their support behind Celtic as Neil Lennon is tasked with completing the treble-treble. That’ll come as no surprise to followers of the game north of the border and there’s no more than 4/7 at Bet365 on The Bhoys doing the business.
Hearts rank as second favs with the same firm offering a market best price of 3/1, ahead of Aberdeen at 6/1 and rank outsiders Inverness, who are a chunky 16/1. That quote tells us Caley don’t have a chance, but experienced followers of this tournament know the highlanders are masters of the upset at this level.
Hearts v Inverness
The first of two ties played at Hampden this weekend and these teams will get the best the turf has to offer, which isn’t an awful lot going on past experiences. The Edinburgh side look to have been handed a pass into the next round, judging by the odds, but manager Craig Levein will know nothing can be taken for granted and if his boys think they only have to turn up, there will be a hefty price to pay. The favourites must be professional and take care of a side from the division below who are always dangerous, especially in knockout competition.
Hearts warmed up for this match with a painful Premiership defeat at the hands of rivals Hibs at Tynecastle on 6 April, a sore one for fans to take. Haring broke the deadlock that day on 25 minutes, but that advantage was cut out quickly, Horgan firing the first of his two goals on 28, the second and winner coming on 56. A return to winning ways on Saturday is 4/9 at Bet365. A handy addition to your weekend accumulators.
Inverness are the only non-Premiership side left in the running, but they will waste no time worrying about that and will, instead, know they are here on merit after putting in some impressive performances in the earlier rounds. The highlanders recorded a hard-fought win over Dundee Utd at Tannadice in the quarter-finals, winning thanks to goals from Chalmers and a Cogan stoppage-time decider, 92 minutes showing.
Dramatic stuff, but that’s the way this team like to play cup football and, regardless of the final result, their fans are never starved of entertainment. The underdogs are hanging on to a play-off place in the second-tier, but there’s plenty of football still to be played and their fate hangs in the balance. This could be their main shot at glory. Bookies aren’t holding out much hope for ICT and offer 7/1 (Bet365) on the upset.
Celtic v Aberdeen
Only Aberdeen stand between Celtic and yet another final appearance, but the stats tell us this should be a win for the champions, and one achieved without too much fuss. They’ve not been entirely impressive since Lennon replaced Rodgers, but they already have the League Cup in the bag, are running down the clock before another title party and have every chance of completing a historic treble-treble.
Celtic have dominated Scottish football in recent years, but how much of that is down to Brendan Rodgers? That remains to be seen but we’ll find out soon enough as the players are challenged with icing the cake the now Leicester manager spent so long baking. The holders are 8/15 at Bet365 to beat Aberdeen and that’s another that can be added to accas with confidence. Celtic were last seen ending 0-0 at home to Livingston in the league and although that was a surprise result, they did have the majority of possession and shots at goal. We expect them to be more ruthless in the danger areas this time, knowing just what is at stake.
Dons Up for the Cup
Aberdeen have been familiar faces at Hampden in recent times and reached the final of the League Cup – losing 1-0 to Celtic – and the semi-final of the Scottish Cup by beating Rangers in both tournaments. The Dons chinned The Gers 2-0 in the last round and that would’ve injected confidence into the dressing room. The underdogs know what Celtic are about and that will ensure they can get down to business quickly. They have learned the hard way they must defend with intelligence, hold their own in the middle and take any half-chances that do come their way in the final-third. The attackers won’t see too much of the ball facing goal, but they must make do. Set-pieces, including corners, are vitally important.
Celtic do have the beating of Aberdeen on the head-to-head stats but there isn’t a lot in it and Aberdeen even held on for a goalless draw at Parkhead recently. There has been no more than one goal between the rivals in the four previous meetings this season, and we expect this renewal to fall into line. Aberdeen are 5/1 at Bet365 to beat Celtic in normal time, or 11/4 with the same firm to qualify by any method. Those eager to avoid picking sides should follow the trends and bet on no in the both teams to score market at a decent 4/5 with 888sport. That can be used to good effect with three or four similar selections to create a punchy multiple.