Celtic are out to secure a famous domestic treble of trophies when they take on Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park this Saturday. The Hoops, already league champions and League Cup winners, where they beat the Steelmen 2-0 in the final, are gunning for a hat-trick of silverware.
They have suffered just four defeats in 38 Scottish Premiership fixtures this seasons, while Motherwell suffered sixteen losses in the league, which ended with a seventh-place finish. If Celtic can win the Scottish Cup this weekend, a feat listed at 1/6 with William Hill which would be the 38th time they have won it, it would be the first time they have claimed back-to-back domestic trebles.
No other Scottish club has ever won successive domestic trebles, meaning a real slice of history is up for grabs. Motherwell and the Bhoys have met four times previously in Scottish Cup finals in the past 87 years, with Celtic winning all four of those encounters.
Heading into this game Motherwell’s form has been good. They have lost just one game in the past six, a 5-1 defeat to St Johnstone on May 6. In comparison Celtic have been beaten twice in their past six fixtures, with a 1-0 loss to Aberdeen last weekend and a 2-1 defeat to Hibernian.
Stephen Robinson’s side reached the final after beating Hamilton Academical 2-0, Dundee 2-0 in the fifth round, Hearts 2-1 in the quarter-final and Aberdeen 3-0 in the semi-final. Brendan Rodgers’ men, as would have been expected by football betting enthusiasts, were equally impressive in cruising to the decider.
They smashed Brechin City 5-0 in the fourth round, edged Partick Thistle 3-2 in the fifth round, defeated Greenock Morton 3-0 in the quarter-final before smashing hated rivals Rangers 4-0 in the semi-final.
Motherwell, 10/1 to win at Coral, face an anxious wait for several players to be fit for Saturday’s final. Midfielder Andy Rose has a fractured collarbone but still could play against Celtic. Striker Curtis Main is also likely to be available, after scans revealed he did not break his wrist in a recent match.
But the Steelmen will be without strikers George Newell, with a cheekbone injury, and Nadir Ciftci who is unable to play against his parent club. They are hopeful Peter Hartley will be fit for selection after nearly four months out with a foot complaint.
With Newell and Ciftci sidelined the goal-scoring load with fall squarely on Louis Moult and Ryan Bowman. Moult has top-scored for Motherwell in the league this season with eight goals. Englishman striker Bowman, formerly of Gateshead and Torquay United, has chipped in with seven.
The pair will be the two men Celtic will have to keep a close eye on. The Bhoys have a number of threats across the park. They have a squad bursting with talent and depth in all positions. Their French frontline of Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard has been in fine touch this campaign. The duo have together scored 18 goals in the EPL.
But Celtic’s midfield also contains significant strike-power. English midfielder Scott Sinclair has top-scored for the club with 10 goals, while Scotsman Leigh Griffiths has added nine and Australian playmaker Tom Rogic has four. Rodgers has a number of options to choose from and can rotate, with Callum McGregor, James Forest, Scott Brown, Jozo Simunovic and Stuart Armstrong all part of his roster.
Unsurprisingly Celtic are short-priced favourites to win another trophy. Considering their pedigree, their recent record against Motherwell and their opponent’s injury issues, it would be a massive upset for the outfit from North Lanarkshire to dethrone arguably Scotland’s biggest club on the weekend.
William Hill has Celtic at 1/6 to win, with Motherwell 7/2, Paddy Power has the Hoops at 1/7 and the Steelmen at 4/1, while Ladbrokes has the favourites at 1/4, a draw at 21/5 and the underdogs at 10/1 and Coral has exactly the same with Celtic at ¼, a draw at 21/5 and Motherwell at 10/1.
Probably the best odds of a Bhoys victory is Ladbrokes with 1/6, and they have the Steelmen at 9/2 The long odds for a Motherwell upset are enticing but don’t be fooled. The best odds are for picking the first goal-scorer. Coral has Griffiths at 13/5, Dembele 14/5, Edouard at 14/5, Sinclair at 4/1 and Rogic at 11/2.
The odds for selecting an anytime goalscorer are nowhere near as juicy. Griffiths is 7/10 at top football betting sites to score at any time during the final, Dembele is 4/5, Edouard 4/5, Sinclair 6/5 and Rogic 7/4. Considering the lanky Australian’s record of scoring in finals and high-pressure games, he might be worth a punt.
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