Live on BBC Scotland: Sun 15:00. The Sunday Mail’s Oddsfellow aka Chris Hutcheon previews the CIS Cup semi final where Rangers and Motherwell battle for a place in the final with Celtic
CIS Cup holders Rangers are just two matches away from retaining the trophy and they’re odds-on 4/9 with bet365 to win the first of those, today’s semi-final showdown against Ibrox legend Stuart McCall’s Motherwell, who are William Hill’s 7/1 outsiders.
Walter Smith’s side are in decent shape at the moment, a slender defeat at Hearts puncturing a sequence containing four wins, all of which have been combined with a clean sheet. Contrast this with the form of the Steelmen, who have won just twice, against Division One Dundee and beleaguered Hibs, in a sequence of eleven matches and the ‘Gers start to look a banker.
A further worry for McCall’s men is a recent lack of goals, they’ve drawn a blank in five of their last seven so it could be worth a few quid at 11/8 (Partybets) on the defensively stout defending champions keeping out shot-shy ‘Well at Hampden Park and prevailing ‘to nil’.
The pair’s last three meetings have produced a hefty 16 goals but in the circumstances viewers shouldn’t expect a glut in this one and a total of fewer than 2.5 at 5/4 with Coral, could be on the cards, while William Hill make Rangers 7/1 to notch twice without reply.
Capable of contributing to the goal count is Nikica Jelavic. The Croatian striker made a flying start to his Ibrox career, firing four in six in all competitions before succumbing to an ankle injury in October but the 25-year-old made his comeback a couple of weeks ago and having regained his match fitness, he grabbed his first since his return in midweek against Hibs. Following the departure of Kenny Miller, Rangers need Jelavic to continue on the goal trail and he’s 4/1 with 888Sport to net first in this one, the same firm making him 11/10 just to score.
Finally in the SPL, Dundee United are 3/4 with Paddy Power to see off the hapless Hibees at Tannadice.