THE Betfred Cup takes centre stage in Scotland this weekend and Aberdeen’s trip to St Mirren is arguably the tie of the round.
Unbeaten in six, the Buddies will fancy their chances against a Dons squad down to the bare bones.
But their record against the Pittodrie men is horrendous, winning just once in 24 meetings, and Derek McInnes has a great cup pedigree.
Since his side lifted this trophy in 2014, Aberdeen have reached three domestic finals and four semis, with only Celtic and Motherwell beating them over 90 minutes in a cup tie in the last four seasons.
So despite missing the likes of Lewis Ferguson, Ross McCrorie and Jonny Hayes, I fancy them to edge this although it could go all the way to extra time or penalties.
The Dons aren’t great value to qualify at 2-5 with McBookie who make them 17-20 favourites to win in normal time. The draw at 90 minutes is better at 23-10 but I’m going to bet against goals in what should be a tight tie.
Under 2.5 strikes pays 3-5 at BetVictor and that has come up in the last three meetings of these sides in Paisley. When the teams faced off at Pittodrie earlier this season, all three goals came in the second half, with Ferguson scoring a late winner.
So I like the look of the 6-5 on offer at bet365 for the second period to be the highest-scoring half.
Sam Cosgrove loves facing the Buddies and is 11-10 at McBookie to net his seventh goal against them.
Jon Obika has scored in Saints’ last two cup ties and is 11-5 with the same firm for anytime scorer.
The group stage didn’t throw up too many shocks and the best chance of an upset today could come when Ayr travel to Livingston. Boss Gary Holt shocked Livi by quitting on Thursday so the
Championship side could be worth a punt at 7-2 with bet365 to qualify. If you fancy them in normal time the odds increase to 13-2.
Hibs thrashed Dundee 4-1 in their last group game and face the same side today at home. The Dark Blues were dismal in a 2-0 loss at Ayr last week and have been shipping goals all season so try Hibs -1 in the handicaps which pays 20-21 at McBookie.
Over 2.5 goals for the Hibees also appeals at 11-8 with Spreadex while backing Kevin Nisbet to score in a win pays 9-10 at McBookie.
League One leaders Falkirk host in-form Rangers tomorrow and are unbeaten at home in their last three against the Ibrox side, winning two.
But that was when Gers were stuck in the lower leagues and they are a different proposition now, even if a host of stars will be rested.
The likes of Jermain Defoe and Ianis Hagi should be handed starts but the Englishman is just 8-13 with McBookie to score so I’m backing Hagi instead at 11-8.
Celtic are in crisis but have the fortune to face a Ross County side in even worse form than them.
Over 2.5 Hoops goals looks a good shout for accas at 4-6 with Betfred.
- Hibs -1 (20-21, McBookie)
- Ayr to qualify (7-2, bet365)
Anytime Scorer Double
- Ianis Hagi & Sam Cosgrove
- (4-1, McBookie)