Rangers vs Ayr UnitedScottish Cup, KO: 17:30 Feb 10, 2024, Ibrox
RANGERS fans are starting to dream of a Treble but Scott Brown would love nothing more than to spring a Scottish Cup shock when he takes his Ayr United team to Ibrox.
Celtic legend Brown savoured many a massive victory at the home of Rangers in his playing career but it would be a bigger achievement if he masterminded a triumph there as gaffer of a Championship side.
After winning his first game in the Ayr United dugout against Queen's Park, the former Hoops captain was brought crashing back down to earth as Dundee United scored a late winner at Somerset Park last weekend.
Avoiding relegation to League One will be Brown's first priority but there's also the chance of mounting a push for a promotion play-off slot in a league where only a few points separate so many sides.
A Scottish Cup run would just be a bonus and few people give the Honest Men much of a chance against a Rangers side who have been transformed under Philippe Clement.
The big Belgian took over from Michael Beale back in October and his only defeat so far has come at Celtic Park in the New Year derby, with two bets landing for our man Mark.
Clement has already put the League Cup in the trophy cabinet and Rangers are now neck and neck with Celtic in a Premiership title race that looks set to go to the wire.
He will be desperate to keep the momentum going with another victory in the Scottish Cup and after a battling midweek win over Aberdeen, it would be a surprise if Rangers didn't win this cup tie with a bit to spare.
How the bookies view it
With Rangers in such good form, the bookies have written Ayr United off and they're as big as 45/1 with Coral for a win in 90 minutes and 14/1 with Bet365 to qualify. Rangers are just 1/33 with the same firm to go through and their best price for a win inside 90 minutes is 1/14 at Coral. The full-time draw pays 12/1 with Betfair.
Head to head
Rangers have won their last 14 games against Ayr United since a 1-1 draw at Ibrox way back in 1978 and you have to go back a further two years for the last Ayr victory in this fixture. These teams last faced off six years ago in the League Cup and it ended in a 4-0 home victory for Rangers.
Players to watch
Clement might see this cup tie as the ideal chance to give new signing Oscar Cortes a start. The Colombian winger has come off the bench in the last two games and is 13/10 with William Hill for anytime scorer.
Anton Dowds has been leading the line for Ayr United and looks their best bet for a shock goal at Ibrox. He's 8/1 at SkyBet to add to his six-goal tally this term.
Anything else catch the eye?
Rangers have won 27 corners across their last two games at Ibrox so that could be a market worth exploring. Over 11.5 corners is priced 13/10 by Unibet while backing Rangers -6 in the corner handicap pays 5/6 at Bet365. The same firm also price over five first-half corners at 20/21.
Clement's side should come flying out the traps in a bid to kill the game early. They scored after just seven minutes against Aberdeen in midweek and a goal inside the first 10 minutes here pays 12/5 at Bet365.
We've seen a lot of penalties at Ibrox this season and there's potential for another here with Ayr probably having to defend inside their box for long spells. Paddy Power are offering 11/10 on a spot-kick being awarded.
This Scottish Cup match between Rangers and Ayr United will be played on Feb 10, 2024 and kick off at 17:30. Check below for our tipsters best Rangers vs Ayr United prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.