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Rangers vs Celtic betting tips: Scottish Cup semi-final preview, predictions, team news and odds

Rangers vs Celtic odds and betting statistics

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Rangers vs Celtic match preview

Will Rangers keep alive their hopes of retaining the Scottish Cup, or can Celtic move one step closer to a fifth treble in seven seasons?

Last May, the Light Blues ended their 13-year wait to land this trophy, defeating Hearts 2-0 after extra time.

However, since then, a lot has changed in Govan.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was sacked in November, following a slow start to the season and a record-breakingly bad Champions League group stage campaign.

In has come Michael Beale and, despite winning 19 of 23 matches in charge so far, he’s under pressure.

That’s because, the Gers are 13 points adrift Celtic in the title race, having drawn one and lost two Glasgow derbies in 2023.

Then, last Sunday, Beale suffered his first defeat against somebody other than Celtic, with his team beaten 2-0 by Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

So, another defeat here would ensure Rangers end the season trophyless, something Beale simply cannot allow to happen.

On the flip side, having done the double in Ange Postecoglou’s first season, Celtic are on course to go one better.

The Hoops had won 17 consecutive matches, dating back to 2 January, prior to last weekend’s surprise 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Parkhead.

Nevertheless, this’ll have no baring on the title race, with the Celts knowing a victory at Tynecastle next Sunday will wrap up the league with four games to spare.

Here, Postecoglou will be determined to continue his unbeaten record against Beale, will the Bhoys claiming a 3-2 victory in the most-recent meeting just three weeks ago.

Although, Celtic’s last defeat against their fiercest rivals did come in a Scottish Cup semi-final almost exactly 12 months ago, beaten 2-1 in extra time.

Old Firms are always huge occasions but, with Falkirk and Inverness meeting in the other semi on Saturday, the winners here will be overwhelming favourites to capture the cup on 3 June.

Celtic have lost just three of their last 33 Scottish Cup ties, but all three of these defeats have come against Rangers.

Will Glasgow be green and white or red, white and blue as the 435th instalment of the world’s greatest derby takes place at Hampden?

Rangers team news

Centre-back Connor Goldson has missed their last three matches but is expected to be fit for this one, which is a major boost as John Souttar and Ben Davies looked anything but a solid pairing at Pittodrie.

Captain James Tavernier scored his 99th and 100th goals for Rangers at Celtic Park earlier this month but didn’t get the celebrate, given that his side were beaten 3-2.

Neither of the January signings Nicolas Raskin or Todd Cantwell started the League Cup Final in February, but both are expected in the XI this time.

As is Ryan Kent, who sat out the defeat at Aberdeen due to a knock.

Alfredo Morelos has only ever scored three goals in 22 Glasgow derbies, shown two red cards, but is likely to get the nod up front, chosen over Antonio Čolak.

Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Souttar, Barišić; Raskin, Lundstram, Sakala, Cantwell, Kent; Morelos.

Celtic team news

Celtic could be without key midfielder Reo Hatate, who hasn’t featured since 18 March, as well as star winger Jota, scorer of the winner in the Old Firm earlier this month.

Both, alongside Liel Abada, are in contention to feature, according to Ange Postecoglou, but it seems unlikely that any of the trio will start, although they could be involved from the bench.

So, as was the case against Motherwell, Sead Hakšabanović will be given a rare start out-wide with Daizen Maeda, who netted at Ibrox in January, on the other flank.

In better news, Cameron Carter-Vickers was back in the XI last weekend, although it’s reported the USA international will require a minor surgery ahead of next season.

Kyōgo Furuhashi has scored four times in his last two appearances against Rangers, and the Japanese striker could be the difference maker once again.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor; McGregor, O’Riley, Mooy; Hakšabanović, Maeda, Kyōgo.

Scottish Premiership table

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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