Hibernian vs AberdeenScottish League Cup, KO: 17:15 Nov 4, 2023, Hampden Park
IT'S League Cup semi-final time in Scotland and first up at Hampden is an intriguing clash between Hibernian and Aberdeen that could go either way.
Both teams have been dogged with inconsistency this season, with the Hibees sacking boss Lee Johnson after losing their first three Premiership games and being embarrassed by Aston Villa in the Conference League play-offs.
New gaffer Nick Montgomery has only lost once since taking over, with that defeat coming at Ibrox, but Hibernian have been drawing far too many games, the latest coming on Tuesday night as they threw away a 2-0 lead at home to Ross County.
The Englishman has won just two of his eight games in charge and the last of those came at the end of September so Hibs need to find a cutting edge at Hampden.
Aberdeen's form has also been patchy with the Dons trying to juggle the demands of Conference League group football and another tough domestic campaign.
Wednesday's 4-2 win at Motherwell was a much-needed boost to morale after a run of four games without a victory, including a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to PAOK at Pittodrie where Aberdeen threw away a 2-0 lead in the last 17 minutes. I had backed the Greeks that night, with Mark cashing in by tipping Bojan Miovski for a goal, but it was hard not to feel for the Dons after PAOK scored their winner with a VAR penalty in the dying seconds.
However, Barry Robson's men can compete with anyone on their day, as they proved with a 3-1 win at Ibrox earlier this season, and they will fancy their chances of claiming a first piece of silverware since their League Cup triumph a decade ago.
How the bookies view it
There's very little between these sides so I'm surprised to see Hibs as Bet365's 7/10 favourites to go through with Aberdeen at 21/20. I'll be backing the Dons at that price given they have a better defence than the Easter Road side. For a win inside 90 minutes, the odds on the Dons increase to 21/10 with the same firm while Hibernian are 7/5 at Coral. I wouldn't be surprised if this went to extra time and the draw at 90 minutes pays 23/10 with QuinnBet.
Recent head to head
Hibernian won 2-0 at Pittodrie earlier this season with David Gray in caretaker charge and they've held the upper hand against Aberdeen of late, losing just one of the last six meetings. The Dons have won the last two cup ties, though, edging a League Cup clash on penalties in 2018 after winning 3-2 in the Scottish Cup semi a year earlier.
Players to watch
Martin Boyle will be hoping for a repeat of his last League Cup semi-final outing for Hibs as the winger scored a stunning hat-trick against Rangers at Hampden two years ago. He was rested in midweek and will be refreshed here so looks good value at 3/1 with Coral for anytime scorer.
It's hard to look past Miovski for a Dons goal and he also scored in last season's League Cup semi with Rangers, although the Ibrox side ended up winning in extra time. The North Macedonian has nine goals for the season and is a generous 11/5 at Bet365 to add to that tally.
Anything else catch the eye?
Slip Tips cashed in by backing Hibs goals in midweek and this could also be an exciting game with both teams possessing plenty of firepower. But semi-finals are often cagey with so much at stake so I'm going to steer clear of goals bets and go for the half-time draw instead at 11/10 with Betfred.
Cards are another good option as neither side will back down from a challenge. The midfield battleground will be key and Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie is 13/10 with Bet365 to go in the book while Hibees star Joe Newell is 6/4 with the same firm.
This Scottish League Cup match between Hibernian and Aberdeen will be played on Nov 4, 2023 and kick off at 17:15. Check below for our tipsters best Hibernian vs Aberdeen prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.