Rangers good to go in their quest for the double
Newly crowned SPL Champions Glasgow Rangers are bookie William Hill's 3/10 favourites to see off Falkirk 10/1 in Saturday's Homecoming Scottish FA Cup Final.
And after finishing a gaping 48 points above Falkirk in the SPL table, it's pretty hard to disagree with those match prices.
Rangers have won all four fixtures between the pair this season and no matter which way you look at this all roads surely lead to it being
five-from-five come Saturday evening.
In their January SPL fixture
the Bairns actually had the temerity to take the lead at Ibrox but were eventually finished off 3-1 thanks to late strikes from Kris Boyd (11/4 first scorer) and Steven Davis (14/1 first scorer).
But that solitary early strike was the only time Falkirk have breached
Walter Smith's men in a quartet of attempts.
Like a hungry lion stalking the fringes a herd of grazing wildebeest (or indeed a ravenous Rangers fan feeling the pull of a deep fried Mars bar), I am drawn to
William Hill's odds on Rangers winning this game to nil - which return a more than respectable 4/5.
Have some of that.
When you consider the recent scoring history between the two that seems like a great bet.
If anything Rangers are now playing better football than at any time this season. In their last nine league games they took an impressive 25 points from a possible 27 - a feat which probably did it for Gordon Strachan at rivals Celtic.
Cynics might argue that Rangers may be tempted to take their foot off the gas now the SPL has been secured but that's not an impression manager Smith is giving out.
" You always want to finish the season on a high and we want to make sure we do," said the well respected former Everton boss this week.
One of the key reasons for Rangers' superb end of season flourish has been the formidable central midfield partnership of Pedro Mendes (16/1 first goal) and Maurice Edu (7/1 anytime scorer).
Mendes was on the mark in the Gers' recent 3-0 win over Dundee United that secured the SPL for the first time since 2005 and I get the feeling that the classy Portugal man can get in the mix again at Hampden. He's 6/1 to score at anytime.
Tam Scobbie (25/1 first goal scorer) and Scott Arfield (12/1 first scorer) were on target as Falkirk set up this final date with Rangers.
Falkirk, who won the trophy in 1913 and 1957, were last in the final in 1997 when they lost out to Kilmarnock. Rangers have won this trophy on 32 occasions! Is it any small wonder that Hills rate Rangers as 1/7 chances to win the cup outright? Falkirk are rated as 4/1 shots to win the cup outright.
The Bairns go into the game on a high of their own having narrowly avoided relegation on the final day of the season - sealed with a 1-0 win that condemned Terry Butcher's Inverness to the drop.