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P.J. Murray 15th Apr 2011 - 14:09

Scottish FA Cup semis

Cup semi-final weekend always has a special buzz as league pressures are off and teams compete in anything can happen games.

Celtic are favourites for the cup at 8/15, 'The Bhoys' will be looking for what could be a possible league and cup double.

Motherwell v St Johnstone

St Johnstone find themselves in the lower half of the SPL and their semi-final with Motherwell poses a good chance at gleaming something from this season. Hosted at Hampden the semis are proving to be quite intriguing betting propositions.

At 19/10 'The Saintees' are an outside bet for the win while Motherwell are 23/20 for a 90 minute victory. Derek McInnes' St Johnstone side are appearing in their fourth cup semi-final in four years and they will be hoping to go that one step further.

As a safer option you can back you preferred selection to qualify, Motherwell are 8/13 while St Johnstone are 6/5 to make it to the final.

Motherwell have won two of the three meetings between the sides in the league this season and have disposed of Dundee and Dundee United on their way to Hampden.  As the underdogs of the final four, the mood in the St Johnstone camp is very positive. Their chances were written off against Hearts earlier in the tournament and they will have nothing to lose in this semi-final.

Stuart McCall, the Motherwell manager, was handed a boost with news that Chris Humphrey and Francis Jeffers were both back in training, Jeffers is 6/1 to score the first goal of the game.

St Johnstone's Colin Samuel scored the all important goal against Brechin and he is 7/1 to score first, while the man with one of the best sports surnames ever, Danny Invincible, is 9/1 to bag the first goal of the match.

The Motherwell defence has been one of the worst in the top half of the SPL and at 10/11 you can back both teams to score or at 23/20 you can punt on over 2.5 goals in the game.

Aberdeen v Celtic

Sunday's semi-final see's the minnows of the competition Aberdeen face off against the favourites, Celtic. Celtic haven't lifted the trophy since 2007 when a 1-0 win over Dunfermline Athletic saw them secure the silverware.

At 2/5 Celtic are expected to cruise into the final with a win in 90 minutes, while Aberdeen are 15/2 to upset the Bhoys.

Celtic are going in search of a possible league and cup double and will be going all out to win this tie.

Aberdeen's Chris Maguire was awarded the player of the round award in round 4 after grabbing a hat-trick when his team crushed East Fife 4-0. The striker is 11/1 to score first and 100/1 to replicate his round 4 form and bag another hat-trick. Scott Vernon is the top scorer for the club this season and he is 9/1 to score first.

For some value backing Celtic you need look no further than our handicap markets, Celtic are 11/10 minus a goal and you can back them at 14/5 -2 goals.

Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper have proved to be formidable attacking threats for the Glasgow side. Stokes is 7/2 to score first while Hooper is 3/1.

The Dons have a very young side, and they are showing a lot of fight, in their last two league games they were only beaten by a goal against Rangers and Hibs. However they did fail to score in those two games and at 4/5 you can back Celtic to keep a clean sheet.

For me I would be backing a double of St Johnstone and Celtic -1 goal for a value bet. Anything can happen on semi-final weekend and as such I would be wagering on the outsiders.


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