It’s not quite a case of top versus bottom but it’s not far off as Peterhead, who lie just one place off the foot of Division Three look to humiliate Premier League leaders Celtic at Balmoor.
The Hoops are no strangers to suffering FA Cup upsets but the holders, overwhelming favourites at 1/12 with Betfred, are in a rich vein of form and look far from vulnerable on this occasion, hence Stan James’ 28/1 for the Blue Toon to cause one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history.
Peterhead have won their last couple at home, which will give them heart but there’s no room for romance when punters are risking cold hard cash and the smart money is on a Celtic stroll. Ladbrokes make Neil Lennon’s men an enticing 7/1 to fire four without reply and Boylesports offer double that, 14/1, for Jim McInally’s men to bag a consolation in a 4-1 defeat.
In attack for the visitors, Gary Hooper is just 2/1 (Paddy Power) to open the scoring but Lennon could use the fixture to give an opportunity to Mohamed Bangura, who has been linked with a loan move back to Sweden and the young striker is 7/2 at bet365 to grasp his chance by slotting the opener.
Allan McGregor is the only current squad member who was involved in Rangers’ last trip to Gayfield Park almost exactly nine years ago, the ‘Gers stopper warming the bench that day and the Scotland number one will hope to start whilst remaining just as inactive when his side renew hostilities with Arbroath.
The Division Two outfit, priced at 20/1 by Blue Square to score a major upset, actually beat Rangers 4-3 in the pair’s first FA Cup meeting but more than 117 years on they are 500/1 with Paddy Power to repeat the feat and it seems like a case of ‘how many’ for Ally McCoist’s boys, bet365’s 1/8 favourites.
That last meeting in 2003 finished 3-0 to the 33-times cup winners and Boylesports make Rangers 13/2 to win by the same scoreline while Paddy Power rate the visitors at a safe-looking 11/10 to prevail by at least three clear goals.
David Healy meanwhile, made only his second start of the season for the ‘Gers on Monday, firing the opener against Motherwell and likely to be given more game time here, the Northern Ireland striker is 10/3 via Betfred to break the deadlock.