WE'VE reached the last-16 stage of the Betfred Cup where Celtic, Hearts, Aberdeen and Hibs enter the fray.

We've already lost holders Ross County who went out in the group stage and there have been plenty of shocks.

However, this is where form will settle down and all teams barring the possible of exception of Rangers and Celtic will go full strength.

That doesn't mean Rangers will be weakened as Mark Warburton brings in the likes of Matt Gilks, Joe Dodoo, Jordan Rossiter and possibly Harry Forrester to freshen up his side after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Hamilton in the Premiership opener.

Gers suffered a culture shock on their return to the top flight and will be relieved to go back to the comfort of the Betfred Cup.

They men won all four group games to nil and face League One Peterhead at Ibrox tonight. Gers found it tough against Hamilton but should dismiss Peterhead – and bookies know it.

The Blue Toon were battered 4-0 by Alloa at the weekend and Rangers are no bigger than 1-7 at Betfred so consider them minus one at 4-9 with Paddy Power.

To win to nil for the fifth tie running they are 4-5 at McBookie. The only threat is Rory McAllister, who signed a new deal after snubbing Dundee. He’s a top-flight player in all but name and 11-2 at Coral to net any time.

In the absence of injured Martyn Waghorn the first-scorer favourite is Kenny Miller at 7-2 with bet365 but I’ll be Forrester at 15-4 if he starts. He looked sharp after replacing Niko Kranjcar at the weekend. Dodoo or Rossiter are others to consider.

Partick Thistle head to Dundee United in good shape and I can see them winning or at worst drawing in 90 minutes. Chris Erskine netted against Inverness and is 5-1 with bet365 to score against his old club.

If there’s a shock it could come at Alloa who host Inverness. The Wasps won their group and hammered Peterhead on Saturday. They are as big as 4-1 at bet365 and 13-5 draw no bet at Ladbrokes.

Hibs should beat Queen of the South as long as Neil Lennon doesn't tinker but are just 4-9 at Betfred and William Hill.

I fancy Hamilton, who should have taken massive confidence from the way they played at Ibrox, to edge out Morton but again they are a bit short at 3-10 with Ladbrokes. Ali Crawford banged in a cracker against Rangers and is 2-1 at bet365 to score again.

Bets to Consider

Alloa draw no bet

Rangers -1

Partick Thistle

Hibs/Hamilton double


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