THIS strangest of seasons will take another bizarre twist this weekend when we head to Hampden for last term’s Scottish Cup semis.
The tournament couldn’t be played to a finish back in the spring due to Covid-19 but it’s final stages have been crammed into the new fixture list. Celtic will continue their quest for a quadruple Treble against Aberdeen on Sunday but it’s the Edinburgh derby up first on Halloween.
Facing Hearts at Hampden has been a nightmare for the Hibees in recent years, with a 4-0 Scottish Cup semi-final loss in 2006 followed by a horror 5-1 defeat in the 2012 showpiece.
But the green half of the city will be confident of exorcising those ghosts after a flying start to this campaign. Jack Ross’ men have lost just twice in 15 games – to Aberdeen and Celtic – so they head to Hampden in high spirits.
They are also fully up to speed while the relegated Jambos have played just five times due to the late Championship start. That’s why Hibs are the favourites here at 29-20 with McBookie while Hearts are 9-5 and the draw 21-10.
I fancy the Easter Road to deliver but they might need extra time and are 4-5 at McBookie to reach the Final.
Despite finishing bottom of the table last term the Tynecastle men edged the derbies, winning two and losing one.
They have won all five of their games this term but have yet to face a side with the firepower of Hibs. Dundee scored twice at Tynecastle as they lost 6-2 in the Championship opener so I fancy the Hibees to get some joy.
Two of the three derbies last term gave us over 2.5 goals while their last two clashes at Hampden delivered a total of 10 strikes so it bodes well for a thriller.
McBookie price over 2.5 goals here at 21-20 and that looks a good option while both teams to score is 4-5. A goal in each half pays 5-6 at Skybet and that’s another decent option.
The pace of Hibees winger Martin Boyle could cause Robbie Neilson’s defence problems and he netted twice in a 2-0 win at Tynecastle last term.
The Aussie international is 16-5 with McBookie in the anytime scorer market and that’s well worth a punt.
For a Jambos scorer it’s best to go for penalty taker Liam Boyce and the Northern Ireland hitman is 11-5 at McBookie for a semi-final goal.
Celtic head into Sunday's clash against the Dons on the back of a four-game run without a victory.
It looked like they would get back on track with a surprise win over French high fliers Lille on Thursday when the Hoops claimed a 2-0 half-time lead.
But the loss of Kris Ajer to injury left them exposed at the back once more and they had to settle for a point after coughing up two poor goals.
They conceded three last weekend in a Premiership thriller with Aberdeen as a last-gasp Lewis Ferguson penalty secured a point at Pittodrie.
I backed both teams to score last weekend and that looks the best option again here at 13-10 with McBookie.
Despite their recent wobbles the Hoops are still 19-40 favourites at Betway to win inside 90 minutes and as short as 2-9 with bet365 to reach the Final.
Celtic rarely go five games without a win so I’d steer clear of backing Derek McInnes’ men who are 10-3 at McBookie to qualify and 13-2 with Betfred to win inside 90 minutes.
With the champions on cup duty Rangers have the chance to open up a nine-point title lead with a win at Killie.
Steven Gerrard’s men offer little value at 2-7 with McBookie, especially as they have won just once in their last five visits to Rugby Park.
So I’m going to bet against goals with under 2.5 strikes priced 6-5 at bet365. A one-goal winning margin also appeals at 21-10 with Betway.
In Saturday’s Premiership action in-form Motherwell could be worth a punt at 2-1 (William Hill) for a win at Livingston while under 2.5 goals (888sport) appeals in Dundee United’s clash with Ross County.

Super Single

  • Martin Boyle to score
  • (16-5, McBookie)

Deadly Double

  • Hibs to qualify & Celtic to win in 90 minutes
  • (8-5, McBookie)

Under 2.5 Goals Double

  • Killie v Rangers (Sun)
  • Dundee United v Ross County
  • (29-10, 888sport)
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