OLD FIRM derbies have been relatively calm in the last couple of seasons but I sense a Hampden storm brewing tomorrow with a trophy up for grabs.
Since Ange Postecoglou’s arrival at Celtic we haven’t seen a single red card across their seven clashes with Rangers and the ref only flashed two yellows in the last meeting at Ibrox.
That followed a mad spell where seven players were sent off in just 10 derbies, including a red for Jeremie Frimpong when these sides last contested the League Cup Final.
A return to the National Stadium could bring bad blood to the boil again and we now have VAR casting an eye over proceedings as well.
That means some tackles previously deemed not too bad by a whistler could be upgraded to a red so the 21/10 on offer at Unibet for a sending-off looks decent.
You have to go to over 5.5 cards to get close to evens at 17/20 with the same firm so backing individual players for cards looks a better option for punters.
Carl Starfelt has been booked in the last two derbies so looks the best option for a Hoops card at 3/1 with Bet365 while Rangers’ Borna Barisic appeals at 7/4 as he will be up against the tricky Jota or jet-heeled Daizen Maeda.
VAR also increases the likelihood of a penalty and we saw one in the last meeting at Ibrox as well as the last cup final back in 2019. Unibet price a spot-kick being awarded at 2/1 and that seems a bit overpriced.
Even though finals can be cagey we should see a few goals with both Postecoglou and Michael Beale sending their sides out to attack.
I’d be surprised if either side ran away with it and the half-time draw appeals at 5/4 with McBookie who also price a one-goal winning margin at 11/8.
It’s all about the battle at the bottom of the Premiership today as Ross County host Dundee United in a relegation six-pointer.
United prop up the table and the pressure is intensifying on boss Liam Fox after five successive defeats in all competitions.
But they are still just a point behind the Staggies and a win today could even lift them above Kilmarnock if Derek McInnes’ side lose at Fir Park.
County have only claimed one victory in their last 12 matches but that came at home to Killie in another huge game at the end of January.
They also drew with in-form Hibs in their last Dingwall outing so Malky Mackay’s men look decent value at 6/4 with McBookie.
Going for goals might be a safer option though with BTTS landing in four of the last five meetings. That bet pays 39/40 at SBK today.
Eamonn Brophy looks a shrewd capture for the Staggies and he’s 27/10 at William Hill for a second goal in County colours.
Stuart Kettlewell has landed the Motherwell job full-time after steering them to massive home wins over St Mirren and Hearts as caretaker.
Well now face a Kilmarnock side who sit three points below them in the table but it won’t be easy at Rugby Park.
Killie’s dismal away form is what’s keeping them in the danger zone but their only defeat in the last six at home came to Rangers.
That makes me think McInnes’ men might bring Kettlewell back down to earth and they are 29/20 at McBookie for a win.
Aberdeen could find themselves in danger of being dragged into the relegation picture if they lose at home to Livingston today.
McBookie make the Dons 10/11 favourites but I’m going for goals instead with over 2.5 strikes at evens.
The other Premiership clash today is a battle of the Saints in Perth.
St Johnstone claimed a hue win on the road at Tannadice last week and I can see this being close. The half-time draw pays 19/20 at Unibet.