Punters pocketed a packet in the last Old Firm derby as Rangers were hugely overpriced to defeat their bitter rivals but the troubled Light Blues were galvanised that day, there seemed to be light at the end of the tunnel for them and they knew that victory over Celtic would give the whole club a huge lift.
Skip to a few weeks later and lightning doesn’t look set to strike twice. The immediate future again looks bleak for the ‘Gers, who might not even be in the SPL to face their foes next season and their troubles could spill onto the pitch as they renew hostilities with the Hoops, William Hill’s 5/6 favourites.
Ally McCoist’s beleaguered troops are BetVictor’s 19/5 outsiders ahead of the Parkhead showdown but with all not well behind the scenes at Ibrox, even amongst the playing staff – Kyle Lafferty having been suspended this week – Rangers no longer look like an underdog with a bite.
Instead Neil Lennon’s boys can capitalise on their neighbours’ misery to sail through this one and they’re a great punt at 5/1 in Coral’s handicaps, where they kick-off two goals in arrears while Stan James quote a 3-0 Celtic success at a generous 14/1.
The hosts have won an impressive 14 of their 16 home matches, leaking just half a dozen goals in the process so there’s every reason to believe they will shut out the Gers and a Bhoys success ‘to nil’ therefore stands out at 9/4 via Skybet.
At the other end, Gary Hooper has struck four times in total against the ‘Gers in two seasons and the Hoops marksman is an enticing 4/1 at Ladbrokes to put his side 1-0 up. Alternatively, Blue Square price Hooper at 11/10 to get on the scoresheet at any point.
In the day’s other clash, William Hill have installed St Mirren as their 6/4 favourites as they entertain struggling Hibs, available via Boylesports at 21/10. Neither side comes into the Paisley bout in particularly decent form and as the Buddies’ home advantage is perhaps offset by both their run of one win in ten and the fact that Pat Fenlon’s troops are stronger on the road, bet365’s 23/10 for it to finish all square is the outstanding match bet.