Scottish League Cup: Bhoys backed by bookies to stick the boot into Heckingbottom’s struggling Hibs

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Celtic aim to reach a fourth Scottish League Cup final in as many years when facing off against Hibs at Hampden Park in Saturday’s semi-final. The match will be shown live on BT Sport from 5:30pm and played out in front of stands dominated by followers of the champions.

The record books show Celtic have won this trophy 18 times in the past. Neil Lennon’s troops are hot favourites in the betting to win this match before going on to complete four-in-a-row. Bookmakers suggest Saturday is a forgone conclusion, but Lennon will be keen to ensure his Bhoys remain professional and focussed on the task at hand.

Celtic hot favourites

Back Celtic to beats Hibs in the last four and you’ll have to make do with a narrow 27/100 at VBET (for more new betting apps click here). That’s tight but it is market best price with most major online betting firms closer to the 1/4 mark.

The Celtic win is sure to feature in a fair share of Saturday accumulators but backers hoping for more of a price will be nudged into the specials markets. The Hoops to win to nil is 11/10 standout at BetVictor or you can try your luck on -2 goals on the handicap at an eye-catching 21/10 with Boylesports. That would work best as a super single.

Confidence is sky high

Celtic booked their place in the semi finals with a devastating 5-0 win over neighbours Partick Thistle in the quarters. Ntcham scored a double that day at Parkhead and that brace was added to by goals for Bayo, Rogic and Sinclair as Neil Lennon rotated his squad. The gaffer labelled it a professional display from his men, and he’ll be looking for more of the same on Saturday night.

The Scottish Premiership champions were spotted moving back to the top of the division last weekend when hammering Aberdeen 4-0 at Pittodrie, piling pressure on Dons manager Derek McInnes in the process. Edouard had the ball in the net inside 10 minutes and that prised open the floodgates. Frimpong, Forrest and Elyounoussi added goals to send Celtic into the break 4-0 up. More was expected in the second 45 but the damage had already been done.

Saturday’s victory was the pace setters’ second league win on the bounce and they also take confidence from a battling 2-1 home cheer over Lazio in the Europa League. There’s a real feel-good factor about the squad at the minute and its little surprise to see betting traders falling over themselves to keep on the right side of the green and whites.

Hibs look hopeless

Across the divide and Hibs make the trip from Easter Road to Hampden with their heads down. The capital city club have slumped to second bottom of the table on the back of a dismal start to the season. They managed only one win in their first 10 games, drawing five and losing four. Surprisingly, each of those draws came in-a-row.

They started the run of shares with a 1-1 at home to Celtic at the end of September and followed that with level finishes against Aberdeen, Hamilton and Ross County. Making his side difficult to beat seems to be Paul Heckingbottom’s best bet at beating the drop but he’ll see Saturday for what it is – a distraction from his club’s league problems and a one-off game that gives them a chance to reach a cup final.

Hibs have won this trophy three times in the past with their most recent final appearance coming in 2016 when going down to Ross County by a 2-1 scoreline. Their last Scottish League Cup success was way back in 2007 when battering Kilmarnock 5-1 in front of a sell-out crowd. Steven Fletcher netted a double that day, as did Abdessalam Benjelloun.

Match stats and trends

The stats covering this fixture show us Celtic and Hibs have met 23 times in Scottish League Cup action with the head-to-head chart reading Celtic 12-6 Hibs and five draws. The last pairing was a 4-2 victory for The Hoops at Hampden back in October 2017.

In more recent times we’ve seen the rivals involved in close contests. Each of the last two have ended in a draw, including that 1-1 at Easter Road back in the summer. Hibs recent form makes another level finish worth a second look at 5/1 – best price at bet365. Backing no in the both teams to score market would’ve returned a winner in four of the last five renewals. More of the same can be added to your bet slips at 5/6 (Bet Victor).

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