The Scottish Cup Final pits Glasgow’s Celtic against Edinburgh’s Hearts at the iconic home of Scottish football Hampden, with both teams looking to finish the season with a flourish. Celtic are looking to put the cherry on top of another incredible season as they look to complete the Scottish Domestic Treble. A victory and the third piece of the treble would make it Celtic’s third treble in a row, an astonishing achievement, putting them just a single Treble behind massive Glaswegian rivals Rangers.
As the underdogs in this clash, Hearts still have a lot to play for, obviously the trophy itself but the allure of potentially landing the last European spot would top off a remarkable season for the Jam Tarts. It’s also been easily forgotten that Hearts started the season in phenomenal form, winning six of their first seven including a victory over Celtic in the second matchday. As I said it’s easily forgotten, the fact they whimpered to a sixth-place finish is a massive disappointment for Craig Levein’s men.
A cup final and a single shot at redemption this season could be enough to spur Hearts on, but at a measly 1.14 to life the trophy, you really can’t look past Celtic. I for one won’t be going down the straight ninety-minute win or lift the trophy market at such ridiculously low prices. Considering their recent head to head record really doesn’t do the Edinburgh based team much justice, with four losses since that surprise early season victory I mentioned earlier. Although, the two latest matches have been rather cagey affairs with Celtic coming out on top 2-1 on both occasions. Albeit last weekend’s result doesn’t paint much of a fair picture as with both team’s league position already confirmed, they had the ability to play very weakened starting elevens.
Celtic do have the ability to call upon Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney as he declared himself fit for the cup final, despite suffering with a hernia issue, which unfortunately will rule him out of Scotland’s Euro 2020 qualifiers in June due to surgery. Celtic boss Neil Lennon is keen to give 16-year-old hot prospect Karamoko Dembele an afternoon in the limelight after the midfielder shone on his debut just last week.
With the luxury of having the title tied up weeks ago, Celtic have had the ability to rest a lot of their key men. In defence the likes of Mikael Lustig, Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic are all expected to feature. They’ll be buoyed by the return of Scott Brown and Callum McGregor in midfield, with James Forrest, Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair playing behind their star striker this season (following the departure of Moussa Dembele) Odsonne Edouard.
Hearts on the other hand have really struggled since star player Steven Naismith picked up an injury in February. But the Jam Tarts will be buoyed by the return on Peter Haring who returns from injury just in time for the crunch clash at Hampden
Captain Christophe Berra should return to the starting line-up after missing the last game of the season through suspension, lining up alongside centre-back partner John Souttar.
With the result markets being such short value, I’ll be going down a goals route here. You can get Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.65 and another I’m liking the look of is Celtic to Win & BTTS @ 3.10. As I said Hearts have put up a fight against Celtic on a few occasions this season and with the added intensity of a Cup Final at Hampden, they’ll have to start quick against the imperious Celtic.
From a Goal-scorer perspective, I think the value must lay with Celtic players with Odsonne Edouard @ 1.61 and James Forrest @ 2.60 grabbing my eye the most.
Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.65
Celtic to Win & BTTS @ 3.10
Odsonne Eduoard to Score Anytime @ 1.61 or First @ 3.50