CELTIC fans will be hoping today’s Scottish Cup Final isn’t the last hurrah for Ange Postecoglou as he looks to lead them past Inverness to another Treble.
The Hampden build-up has been dominated by Tottenham’s pursuit of the Hoops boss and there hasn’t been this much fuss about an Aussie moving to the big metropolis since Paul Hogan pitched up in New York in Crocodile Dundee.
Plenty of Spurs fans certainly think Ange is working in a footballing outback, with some choking on their jelly and eels at the prospect of appointing a manager from the SPFL.
One talkSPORT caller summed up the insular outlook by bemoaning the fact Tottenham hadn’t moved for Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick, with one fourth-placed finish in the Championship apparently trumping titles in three countries and coaching at a World Cup.
Postecoglou won’t have been listening though as the Celtic boss has been putting his full focus on the Cup Final.
And if this does turn out to be his final game at the helm, the Aussie will be looking to finish in trademark style.
A three-game run without a win after sealing the title gave Caley Thistle fans added hoped but Postecoglou’s side roared back to form with a 5-0 rout of Aberdeen this week.
And it would be one of the biggest shocks in history if Inverness lifted the Cup, with the Championship side as big as 22/1 with BoyleSports for a win in 90 minutes.
Caley Thistle have previous when it comes to shocking Celts in this tournament.
Since going ballistic on that famous night at Parkhead in 2000, the Highlanders have put a rocket up the Hoops twice more, with their last victory coming in the 2015 semi-final en route to lifting the trophy.
A red card for Craig Gordon helped them out on that occasion, not to mention a major blunder from the officials as Josh Meekings got away with a blatant handball on the line.
With VAR now in operation there won’t be a repeat of that mistake but you get the feeling it might take another Celtic red card for Caley Thistle to come out on top.
If you fancy a sending-off for either side, that bet pays 7/2 with McBookie.
The best blueprint for shocking Celts comes from the St Mirren playbook, given the Buddies beat the champions in Paisley and managed a 2-2 draw at Parkhead.
But their success was based on the aerial prowess and physicality of Curtis Main and Dodds doesn’t have a similar kind of striker at his disposal, with little Billy Mckay likely to lead the line at Hampden.
That makes me think Postecoglou’s side could win this game to nil, although the odds aren’t great at just 8/11 with McBookie.
It’s hard finding value on the Hoops but if you back them to win both halves the odds aren’t too bad at a best 5/6 with William Hill.
In the scorer markets, Kyogo Furuhashi is just 1/3 with McBookie after netting doubles in his last two cup finals at Hampden. That’s poor value but Jota catches the eye at 5/4 with Hills for anytime scorer after netting the winner in the semi-final.
There’s better value in backing an assist, with Matt O’Riley at 11/4 with Bet365 while the same firm price Daizen Maeda at a whopping 5/1.
Corners are always worth a look with Postecoglou’s side and backing over five first-half flag kicks has paid off for me in their last two games. The same bet at Hampden pays 6/5 with Bet365 while a corner inside the first seven minutes is a decent 5/6.
In a season that has been dominated by VAR controversies, don’t rule out the boys Clydesdale House having a major impact once more in the final game. Bet365 price a penalty being awarded at 5/4 while backing Celtic to score one pays 7/4 while ICT are 12/1 to net from the spot.
- Over five first-half corners (6/5, Bet365)
- Penalty awarded (5/4, Bet365)
- Maeda assist (5/1, Bet365)
- Jota to score (5/4, William Hill)