Scottish Football Tips: Big guns back with a bang


IT’S good to see the return of the “holidaying” big guns to action this weekend even if it is the Scottish Cup – and some ties will be wiped out by the weather.

I’m still a fan of the tournament as it’s taken seriously up here unlike south of the border – but it means no goal-laden League One card.

Actually there is one and Stranraer v Raith looks good for thrills. Last week both teams scored in all five fixtures and my 4-1 goals treble landed.

Raith have beaten the Blues 3-0 at home twice this season while Stranraer’s last three have totalled 15 goals so take overs.

We also have one League One clash in the Cup with Ayr entertaining Arbroath. All three league meetings this season have seen both score, go over 2.5 goals and be away wins.

Arbroath have won 2-1 twice at Somerset and a third pays 14-1 with bet365. Just to win the Smokies are 31-10 at McBookie but I’m on both to score.

Take those two on a goals treble and add Dunfermline v Morton which has brought up btts in six out of seven at East End Park and two meetings this season.

Talking of goals – Celtic and Rangers should both hit plenty. Celtic tackle winless Championship side Brechin and after relaxing in the sunshine of Dubai they’ll be raring to go.

The handicap line is set at four with Celtic -3 paying 5-6 at Sky Bet and Brendan Rodgers’s men should be able to cover that.

Over 4.5 match goals pays 11-10 at Paddy Power and while it’s difficult to find value Celtic are 8-5 with William Hill to be leading after 15 minutes.

It was refreshing to see Fraserburgh boss Mark Cowie saying he plans to go at Rangers and not park the bus. That could lead to a heavy defeat and tomorrow in the Highlands the handicap is set at three.

Rangers should be looking to win by at least four or five and you can back them -3 at 6-4 with bet365. Minus four is 3-1 at Betfred.

To be leading after 15 minutes Gers are even more appealing than Celtic at 19-10 with William Hill.

Elsewhere tie of the day could be the lunchtime Aberdeen v St Mirren showdown. Last season Rodgers said Saints gave his men one of their toughest tests and they led 1-0 at Parkhead before collapsing late on to lose 4-1.

Jack Ross’s Championship leaders will be keen to show they deserve to be playing Premiership football next season and the Dons face a nervy 90 minutes.

I reckon Derek McInnes’s men – also just back from Dubai – will edge it and they are a best 2-5 McBookie with Saints 8-1 at bet365. Consider Aberdeen and both to score at 12-5 with William Hill.

There’s bound to be a couple of shocks but where will they be apart from maybe Peterhead? Alloa are meeting Dundee United at a good time and are 5-1 at bet365 for anyone who fancies them.

Improving Inverness are 31-10 with McBookie and will test Dundee at Dens while a Brora side, who make Peterhead look goal shy, are 7-1 at bet365 to win at East Fife after sinking Stranraer in the previous round.

Brora have netted 30 in six games but 16 came against Fort William and seven versus Lossiemouth. The Fifers will be better opponents and there should be plenty of goals.

Tomorrow as well as Rangers we have another instalment of Hearts v Hibs. The last three meetings at Tynecastle have finished 0-0 including the New Year derby when Oli Shaw was denied when his shot was clearly over the line.

It’s bound to be a tight again. No scorer pays 15-2 at bet365 while the draw is 12-5.

Recommended Bets

  • Celtic -3 v Brechin (5-6, Sky Bet)
  • Rangers -3 at Fraserburgh (6-4, bet365)
  • Rangers to be leading after 15 minutes (19-10, William Hill)
  • Aberdeen and btts (12-5, William Hill)
  • Brora to score (price to follow)
  • Hearts v Hibs draw (12-5, bet365)


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