Hearts ran out 3-0 winners the last time they visited Dundee United, back in September but a repeat looks unlikely as the pair lock horns again at Tannadice, this time in the League Cup.
Peter Houston’s side ‘won ugly’ at the weekend, a Johnny Russell penalty giving them a 1-0 victory at St Mirren and that could be the catalyst for a United improvement starting in this one. Nevertheless a close one is likely and Ladbrokes quote the hosts at 3/1 to shade it by one.
Rudi Skacel meanwhile, provides an interesting side show should he take to the field. The Czech midfielder is a former Hearts favourite and indeed had been training with the Jambos who were looking to re-sign the 33-year-old, however a Tynecastle transfer embargo prevented that and he has moved to Tannadice instead. What price Skacel coming back to haunt Hearts then? He’s 13/2 to notch first with Paddy Power, who make him 9/4 to score at any stage.
At Ibrox, Rangers look to upset more SPL opposition, this time in the shape of Inverness. Ally McCoist’s men saw off Motherwell in the last round and they’re 6/5 (Coral) to repeat the feat against Caley Thistle. The best Ibrox bet however is Paddy Power’s 11/2 for the prolific Lee McCulloch to add to his season’s tally of 13 goals by breaking the deadlock.
Dundee United to beat Hearts by one – 3/1 (Ladbrokes)
Rudi Skacel to score first in Dundee Utd v Hearts – 13/2 (Paddy Power)
Lee McCulloch to score first in Rangers v Inverness – 11/2 (Paddy Power)