St Mirren v Hearts, Hampden, Sunday 3pm
IT'S a huge day for St Mirren and Hearts as they battle it out at Hampden to win the League Cup.
We always knew the demise of Rangers would mean more final appearances for the smaller clubs – but this is a match-up that was totally unexpected.
So it's a great opportunity for both clubs with Saints trying to lift the silverware for the first time and Hearts attempting to make it back-to-back cups.
Unfortunately for punters it looks a showdown that could go either way. However, I've been convinced to back St Mirren with them available at a biggest 21-10 with William Hill to win in 90 minutes. At that price you can factor in a possible draw and back them on the outrights at 11-8 with Coral.
This season Saints have had the better of the meetings with two 2-0 wins – the most recent in Paisley three weeks ago – and a 1-0 loss at Tynecastle.
With the likes of Gary Teale, Steven Thompson and Esmael Goncalves giving them more of a cutting edge there should be no favourite but you can't deny the battling qualities of the Jambos under difficult circumstances.
Saints will take great confidence from the way they beat Celtic 3-2 in the semi-final at Hampden and a repeat of that display should land them silverware.
To win in extra time it's 12-1 Saints, 10-1 Hearts at Hills who offer both at 10-1 to win on penalties. McBookie.com rate both sides at 14-1 to win on penalties.
Goncalves has netted in every cup match he has played since signing for the Buddies and is
7-2 at bet365 to net again.
For first goal all three could be beaten by the experienced Thompson who should relish the big stage and is 7-1 with William Hill to break the deadlock. The last six meetings between the sides have totalled 18 goals, according to oddschecker, and over 2.5 goals pays 13-10 at Coral.
Saints skipper Jim Goodwin is 8-1 favourite with McBookie for first card in what's an interesting market.
Tough-tackling Ryan Stevenson is 9-1 ahead of team-mate Darren Barr at 10-1 while Saints stopped Marc McAusland is also 10-1.
I might have a little dabble on no-nonsense striker Thompson at 16-1. He is a Buddies fans and may be a little bit excitable at the start of the match.
Booking prices (McBookie.com): 12-1 David Van Zanten, Paul Dummett, 14-1 Andy Webster, David Barron, Graham Carey, 16-1 Lewis Guy, Brad Mckay, Conor Newton, Danny Wilson, Dylan McGowan, John Robertson, Kevin McHattie, Mehdi Taouil, Sam Parkin, 18-1 Callum Tapping, Sutton.
(21-10, William Hill)
Thompson first booking
(1pt 16-1, McBookie.com)