Despite sitting on the opposite side of the Old Firm fence, Inverness boss Terry Butcher reckons he has plenty in common with Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon and the former ‘Gers defender will be hoping that the pair’s similarities are also mirrored on the pitch today as he looks for his Caley Thistle side, 7/1 outsiders, to match Lennon’s Hoops in the pair’s cup quarter-final.
However, super Caley won’t be going ballistic here because, already in one cup final, Celtic are just 4/9 courtesy of Betfred to move a step closer to another and they have to be fancied for victory at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
Nevertheless, the injury-hit visitors can’t expect to have it all their own way, especially as the hosts have bounced back from a sticky patch to win their last two at home and indeed it’s almost six years to the day since Celtic last went to Inverness and won by more than a single goal so we can expect it to be close. Punters should pile a few quid on Lennon’s men to nick it by one then at 13/5 with Stan James while the brave can go to bet365 who offer 15/2 for a 2-1 Hoops triumph.
It could take Celtic a while to get on top against Butcher’s resilient charges and with a tight start likely it’s worth considering a flutter at 10/11 (Paddy Power) on the clash to be goalless until at least the 23-minute mark. In fact, a victory after a drawn first half, at 7/2 with Ladbrokes isn’t impossible for the Hoops, who are 15/8 courtesy of Coral to come out on top but also concede against their stubborn opponents.
In attack meanwhile, there are doubts over Gary Hooper’s fitness, which limits the appeal of Betdaq’s 4.33 (10/3) for the ex-Scunthorpe man to break the deadlock and instead punters could cash-in on Kris Commons. The midfielder has notched five times in his eight games for the Hoops and is 4/1 at Totesport to fire the first but William Hill stick their neck out where the loan man is concerned, offering 2/1 for him to follow last week’s brace by scoring at any time in a Celtic triumph.
In the evening’s other game, St Mirren travel to Aberdeen as Coral’s 4/1 outsiders after the pair drew their quarter final 1-1 at the weekend.