Easter Road, Wednesday, 7.15pm, live on BBC 2 Scotland

CELTIC need a trophy this season but whether the League Cup's the one fans crave is another matter.

However, with his men trailing Rangers by 10 points in the SPL title race this a tournament boss Neil Lennon can't let escape.

Rangers are out after a 3-2 defeat at Falkirk in the previous round and the path to glory has opened up for Celtic with Killie and two SFL clubs, Ayr and Falkirk, in the last four.

Unfortunately for Celtic they are involved in the one all-SPL clash against a Hibs side who can be red-hot or rubbish.

Hibs looked good beating St Mirren in Paisley at the weekend but were really poor the previous week as they crashed at home to Motherwell.

Lennon hopes his team comes up against the latter and bookies are assuming so by making Celtic a biggest 8-15 (William Hill) at Easter Road.

And before a ball was kicked this week the Hoops were no longer than 4-6 to lift the trophy.

Hibs are 6-1 at bet365 with the draw 16-5 at Ladbrokes. To qualify Celtic are 2-9 with William and Ladbrokes while Hibs are 10-3.

After the thrills and spills of the 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock Lennon's men have steadied the ship with a decent 1-1 Euro result in Rennes then 2-1 win at home to Aberdeen so they should have enough to edge out their hosts.

In both those trips Celtic trailed at half-time. They are 7-1 with Coral to be losing at the break and hit back to win in normal time.

The fact they didn't keep a clean sheet is a worry and defensive worries means the less-than-steady Swede Dan Majstorovic will take his place in the centre of defence.

Celtic have conceded 12 goals on their last six away trips so you'd imagine they wouldn't keep a clean sheet against a side boating strike power in the shape of Garry O'Connor, Leigh Griffiths and Junior Agogo. Take both teams to score at 10-11 with William Hill.

On-form Hoops star Anthony Stokes would love to score against his former club and is 11-10 with McBookie.com to do so and 4-1 to bag the opener.

He is likely to be partnered by Gary Hooper who needs a goal to kickstart his season. He is 11-8 with McBookie.com to score and 5-1 for the first.

Likewise Hibs' Garry O'Connor is looking for another strike to continue his fightback from the abyss and is 15-8 with McBookie.com to score and 7-1 to break the deadlock.

It was Leigh Griffiths who was the hero for Hibs at St Mirren and the on-loan Wolves striker is 2-1 with McBookie.com to score and 15-2 for first scorer.

Bookies expect goals so over 2.5 is just 13-20 at bet365.


Both teams to score

(10-11, William Hill)

Stokes to score

(11-8, McBookie.com)

O'Connor to score

(15-8, McBookie.com)


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