Dundee United vs Inverness CTScottish Cup, KO: 15:30 Mar 3, 2019, Tannadice
AFTER three depressing years in the doldrums, Dundee United will be hoping this is the season when they announce their arrival back in the Scottish football big time.
While promotion from the Championship at the third time of asking remains the top priority, with Robbie Neilson's men five points behind leaders Ross County, securing a Scottish Cup semi-final slot would be another statement of intent.
Winners of the trophy just nine years ago, United also lost the 2014 final and it's heartening to see the fallen giants back in the business end of the competition.
United won me a few quid by knocking out Premiership strugglers St Mirren in the last round and should have enough quality to see off fellow Championship side Inverness.
Caley Thistle's recent Cup pedigree is even better than United's with the Highlanders lifting the trophy as recently as 2015 when John Hughes was manager.
It has been a painful fall from grace for Inverness since then but they still harbour hopes of a Premiership return via the play-offs as they sit fourth.
Their promotion push has been undermined by too many draws, with seven stalemates in a row earlier in the season, and it has been a similar story in the Cup.
Replays were needed to see off both Edinburgh City and Ross County, with the all-Highland cup tie eventually decided by penalties after a couple of 2-2 thrillers.
Given that two of their league meetings with United have ended in 1-1 draws this season, plenty of punters will fancy another stalemate, which is available at 12/5 with Sky Bet.
But there was a dress rehearsal in midweek at Tannadice, with United emerging as 1-0 victors in the Championship thanks to Nicky Clark's penalty, and I fancy them to complete the double at 28/25 with Marathonbet.
Neilson has now stamped his mark on the team and United are unbeaten in their last five games, having won four of them.
This should be another tight game between two well-matched sides so try backing a one-goal winning margin at 11/8 with Betway. Under 2.5 goals also looks a good option but the odds aren't great at 5/6 with Betfred.
Clark's winner in midweek made it five goals in nine games for the former Rangers and Dunfermline striker. He takes United's penalties so looks the best option in the first scorer market at 7/2 with William Hill.
This Scottish Cup match between Dundee United and Inverness CT will be played on Mar 3, 2019 and kick off at 15:30