KevMac casts his eye over today's top flight action in Scotland as well as this weekend's League Cup semi-finals at Hampden.
Celtic v St Johnstone
THE crown for Scotland’s knockout kings passed from Celtic to St Johnstone last term as Callum Davidson’s side pulled off a sensational double.
So it’s fitting the Perth side climb back into the Hampden ring tonight against a Hoops side who have come out swinging under new boss Ange Postecoglou.
Having gone an amazing 35 cup ties without defeat, Celts were sent to the canvas by Ross County in the League Cup last term.
The blows just kept on coming after that during a disastrous campaign under Neil Lennon as the Parkhead side blew 10 in a row and ended up empty handed.
Most of the silverware was passed to Saints, with Davidson’s men seeing off Livingston in the League Cup
showpiece then sinking Hibs to lift the Scottish Cup as well.
Having seen off Arbroath and Dundee in their League Cup defence it’s now 12 knockout ties without defeat for St
Johnstone but they are still 4/1 outsiders with McBookie to reach the final this term.
Celtic are 1/6 hot favourites to progress although that increases to 1/3 if you back them to win in 90 minutes.
It ended 2-0 to the Hoops when these sides faced off in the league at Parkhead and chances were at a premium that day. It took a late pen to seal the win for Celts and I can see this semi being tight as well.
There was a bit of aggro in that league meeting earlier this term and Saints striker Chris Kane was lucky to escape a red card for raising his hands to Cameron Carter-Vickers. We could see some afters tonight so over 3.5 cards looks a good shout at 21/20 with McBookie.
Celtic have looked more of a threat from set-pieces this term and that makes David Turnbull tempting for an assist (14/5, McBookie).
Rangers v Hibernian
The other semi takes place tomorrow as Rangers begin life without Steven Gerrard by facing off against Hibs.
The Hibees were in dismal form before the international break with a 2-1 loss at Ibrox sparking a run of four consecutive defeats.
But they were leading 1-0 against Gers before a red card for Ryan Porteous and the champions have been leaking goals of late.
Ryan Kent’s return from injury gave Rangers a big boost before the international break and he looks the best shout in the anytime scorer market at 6/4 with McBookie.
Dundee United v Aberdeen
There’s also some big games in the Premiership this weekend and the New Firm derby at Tannadice is massive for both teams.
Aberdeen’s revival ground to a halt before the break with a 2-0 loss at home to Motherwell while Dundee United’s 5-2 defeat at Tynecastle made it three games without a win.
It’s also four matches without a clean sheet for Tam Courts’ men having looked so steady at the back earlier this season.
The Dons have only shut out the opposition twice all season so BTTS looks pretty good value here at evens with McBookie.
Motherwell v Hearts
Hearts can jump up to second place with a win over Motherwell but I wouldn’t be surprised if their Fir Park clash ended level and that bet is priced 45/17 at VBet.
Both teams have been scoring pretty freely so over 2.5 goals also appeals at 42/41 (SBK).
St Mirren v Livingston
Livingston have bust my coupon a few times this season but I still think St Mirren look good value at 39/40 (SBK) for a home win over the Lions today. Eamonn Brophy also appeals for a goal at 15/8 with McBookie.