The Scottish FA Cup Final takes place at Hampden Park on Saturday, where Celtic are Sportingbet’s red-hot 2/5 favourites to pick-up their first trophy of the season by beating Motherwell (7/1, Betfred).
While the Bhoys dismissed their heavily rotated opponents 4-0 last weekend, it may be a different scenario this time around, especially as the pressure is on Celtic to deliver silverware to an empty 2010/11 cabinet.
The Well last picked this trophy up themselves 20 years ago, and boast good form in this season’s competition, where they displayed plenty of spirit in knocking out holders Dundee United courtesy of a replay. Stuart McCall’s troops certainly have enough resilience to take Celtic into extra-time at Betdaq’s standout 5.0 (4/1), while Celtic are 15/2 via bet365 to nick it during that extended part of the match.
It also needs remembering that Stuart McCall has already masterminded a victory over Neil Lennon’s men in February, which could tempt punters into backing the Steelmen to come out on top in the handicap where they are a juicy 15/8 with Paddy Power receiving a one-goal start.
Meanwhile, recent history between the sides suggests that Celtic have had to remain very patient, as bar last weekend, the favourites were only in front during one of their previous eight clashes, making Coral’s 6/4 for a goalless first period a real possibility. Meanwhile, a 0-0 half-time scoreline is 5/2 via William Hill, with Ladbrokes flagging up 5/1 for both halves finishing level.
However, investors that rely on past cup finals as a guide, will note that only one of the last 19 renewals went to extra-time, during which period a 1-0 outcome was the most frequent scoreline on eight occasions. Celtic to emerge 1-0 winners could tempt such backers at 11/2 (Totesport), with Motherwell 16/1 () to win by the same score.
A 1-0 result to either side also offers the chance for somebody to become a hero, with Gary Hooper Totesport’s 11/4 favourite to net the only goal for Celtic, while Motherwell’s leading scorer John Sutton is 9/1 via Stan James.