One of the fiercest rivalries in world football will reignite in Glasgow this Sunday as Celtic host Rangers in a Scottish Cup semi-final. Brendan Rodgers’ side have enjoyed a virtual monopoly on success in the domestic game north of the border in recent years and are on course for a historic second consecutive treble.
Since the County Antrim native arrived in Glasgow he’s won seven and drawn two of the nine Old Firms he’s contested. An impressive record indeed and its one he’ll be keen to extend as his trophy-laden time at the club continues.
But while Celtic might have had the run of the city for the past number of years, as Rangers struggled to come back from the lower league wilderness where they found themselves, their dominance looks likely to be challenged sooner rather than later.
Interim boss Graeme Murty is really getting a tune out of his charges since taking the reins at Ibrox and they led Celtic twice in the last rendition of the Old Firm before eventually succumbing to a 3-2 defeat.
They looked a different Rangers side to the ones we’ve seen in recent times and - whisper it - like one that might be able to challenge Celtic in a meaningful way for the league title next season. The scene is set, then, for a dramatic affair in front of a ferocious full house at Celtic Park and we’ve picked out a few angles for football betting fans that could see us glean some profit on it from the bookies.
The scorelines in these encounters tend to be high - just look at the way the last game finished up -and we’re forecasting the same here. Both sides have been involved in some goal-heavy affairs of late and the peculiarities of this occasion should ensure their meeting is another one.
One way to do this is by backing both teams to score at 7/11 with 888Sport. Or, alternatively, backing over 2.5 total goals with Betbright at odds of 3/4. While both of those options appeal in their own right, we’ll take a hybrid approach to taking a position on a high-scoring, close affair by backing the 1/1 available on the yes/over 2.5 selection in the Both Teams to Score & Over/Under 2.5 market with William Hill.
A more competitive Old Firm than usual should see each side net at least once and a thrilling bit of cup action can see us cop on this, our main interest in the fixture.
Last month’s league encounter between these two really underlined how much closer they are now matched than had been the case in the recent past. While the hosts are made 7/10 favourites by Betbright, they may be slightly too short on the evidence of the closeness of that encounter. For that reason, we’re keen to take up a position that capitalises on that underestimation of the visitors by the bookies.
They’re 4/1 with Bet365 to win the game outright and the draw is marked up at 11/4 with Black Type. They’re 2/1 to qualify with William Hill, which keeps the possibility of them edging past Celtic after extra time and/or penalties after a drawn opening 90 minutes onside. We’ve mulled over the respective options and, all things considered, the draw at full-time looks the most appealing. That price allows us to take up a position on Rangers running Celtic close and a well-matched game unfolding.
Should the game be drawn at half-time, or moving into the closing stages, backers will have the ability to cancel out their liability and lock in some profit on an exchange like Matchbook. This approach can take advantage of the lofty 3/1 quote about the draw on offer and is an attractive proposition to us.
The young Colombian forward Alfredo Morelos has had a busy start to his life in old Caledonia, scoring 14 goals in 31 showings.The rapid young attacker caused some controversy in his last domestic game against Dundee, taking a dubious ‘fall’ and picking up a card for diving.
He scored in that game, too, and as a player that tends to score in streaks he might be one worth getting onside in the Anytime Goalscorer markets. There’s 23/10 available for him finding the net at Celtic with some of the top online football betting sites and that rates as being worth chancing.