This weekend sees the finale of the Scottish Season with the "Scottish Cup Final" on Saturday. Hearts and Hibernian make up the two finalists and many will be surprised at the absense of either of the Old Firm clubs. Celtic were dispatched 2-1 by Hibs in the semi finals, whereas Rangers, who were suffering from the loss of top-scorer Jelavic to Everton, lost 2-0 to Dundee in the fifth round. This year’s final will be the first Edinburgh derby in the Scottish Cup history since way back in 1896. Due to the all Edinburgh finalists the match is being dubbed as the ‘sauce and salt’ final due to the Edinburghers preference of ‘sauce and salt’ on their chips as opposed to salt and vinegar, which has led to the host city’s (Glasgow) chip-shops buying in a load of brown sauce (apparantly).
Hibs are looking for a first Scottish Cup win in 110 years, but have been largely disappointing in the SPL, finishing in 11th place. They also have an awful record against top five teams in the SPL – playing 15, losing 12, drawing 3 and winning 0. Hearts on the other hand have more recent success winning the Scottish Cup in 2006. They have also had a solid season finishing fifth in the SPL and just missing out on European football. The stats are reflected in the odds with Hearts being favourites priced at 2.25 with Paddy Power.
Rudi Skacel is Hearts top goal scorer this season and has a history of scoring cup final winners after doing so in the 2006 final. Like that day, tomorrow will most likely be Skacel’s last game for Hearts as they look to cut their wage bill. He is currently at 5s with BetFred to score first but should he go on to score two or three the price will be doubled or tripled as BetFred will be offering Double Delight and Hat-trick Heaven.
Garry O’Connor has impressed up top for Hibs having bagged himself 16 goals this season. He is currently priced at 5s to score first. Again, should he go on to score more than one his odds will double or triple.
I think this game will go right down to the wire with Hibernian pumped to end their trophy drought. However, Hearts have the big game experience, are the form team and Hibs could become overwhelmed by the occasion. I think it will be a tight game as cup finals always are as no one wants to make a mistake. Hopefully an early goal will be scored to open the game up. Either way, I see a Hearts victory on the cards although I always hate backing the favourite.