Celtic have all but wrapped up the title and are therefore effectively only two games away from the clinching the double but Dundee United will have other ideas as the pair square up in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park.
Inevitably, the Hoops are emphatic favourites 1/2 with Paddy Power and given that they hammered the Terrors 6-2 and 4-0 in the pair’s last two meetings, as well as registering another 4-0 success against United in this competition last season, it’s perhaps easy to see why bookies are siding with the champions-elect.
However, Jackie McNamara’s troops, Stan James’s 13/2 underdogs, shouldn’t be written off too readily and indeed a compelling case can be made for an upset.
The Terrors are unbeaten in eight matches, since their mauling at Parkhead in fact, and their solid recent form has seen them sneak into the top six. By contrast, in the five domestic matches before last weekend’s comfortable 3-0 success against Hibs, Neil Lennon’s men had looked distinctly unconvincing, going down to Motherwell and Ross County in two of those fixtures while crucially, the Bhoys have also been turned over when kicking off as short-priced jollies, on their last three visits to Hampden.
The one worry with regard to United’s recent form is the plethora of stalemates, five in their last seven outings and with that in mind, punters might fancy a few quid on McNamara’s boys in Stan James’s handicaps, where they kick-off a goal in front at odds of 9/5.
Alternatively, the Terrors are a whopping 6/1 in Coral’s ‘draw-no-bet’ market and a little saver on the underdogs at 20/1 courtesy of BetVictor, to ultimately prevail on penalties, isn’t without appeal.
In terms of goals, there was bad news for Dundee United as Johnny Russell lost his battle to be fit. Jon Daly will carry the attacking burden then and he’s 10/1 at Hills to break the deadlock. The Terrors front man though, might be a better bet at 10/3 (Stan James) to strike at any stage as the form of Kris Commons, an 11/2 chance at bet365 to break the deadlock, makes the Celtic midfielder hard to resist.
Dundee Utd to beat Celtic ‘draw-no-bet’ – 6/1 (Coral)