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Celtic face Ross County and Dundee Utd play Raith for a place in the Scottish Cup Final. David Russell previews the semis and the SPL games.
If bookies are to be believed, an all-SPL Cup final is inevitable as neither Ross County nor Raith Rovers have a chance of defeating top-flight opponents in this weekend’s semi finals.
Ross face Celtic tomorrow priced as Betfred’s 10/1 outsiders, whereas the Hoops open at 1/4 according to the same firm. The sides have met only once before, in 2004, when Celtic won 2-0 and Betdaq rate a repeat of that result at 6/1. Meanwhile, 888Sport hand Ross a one goal start and post 11/4 against them winning. Admittedly, it is a semi final, but it’s difficult to argue with the bookies, although bet365’s 5/1 for it to finish level at 90 minutes has attracted bolder punters.
Raith and Dundee United have not met since 1997 and bookmakers are convinced that United’s superior league status justifies their 2/5 (Jaxx.com) match win odds. Partybets price Rovers at 6/4 to win when given a one goal start and Paddy Power price the Division One side at 7/1 to score an unlikely-looking victory.
However, of the two semis, this looks the least predictable and punters who suspect we’ll witness at least one cup shock this weekend can get 11/1 (Ladbrokes) against Rovers securing a 1-0 victory.
In the SPL, Falkirk and St Mirren are engaged in a six-pointer relegation scrap and a repeat of December’s 1-1 scoreline, priced at 6/1 (Victor Chandler) cannot be ruled out. St Mirren have won four of the pair’s last seven meetings (the other three were draws), a record which suggests that Totesport’s 9/4 for them to win tomorrow looks a little overdone; Falkirk are nonetheless Stan James’s 5/4 favourites.
Finally, Aberdeen’s miserable goalscoring record at Pittodrie is one which suggests that Betdaq’s 8/5 for the opening half of their duel with St Johnstone to finish goalless offers value. Betfred price the Dons at 5/6 to score the opener and although the fixture could theoretically develop into an end-of-season goalfest, Paddy Power’s 4/6 for the sides to manufacture fewer than three goals has been well supported; bet365 post 11/2 about a 1-1 finish.