Motherwell came within a whisker of ending Celtic‘s domestic bliss on Wednesday night at Fir Park and the Steelmen may find it much tougher at the weekend.
Gallant losers in the League Cup final at Hampden Park on Sunday, Motherwell again tested the resolve of Brendan Rodgers’ side with a thorough examination in midweek.
An own-goal from Hoops cult-hero Mikael Lustig appeared like it would end the run on 65 games, but Scott Sinclair levelled in the final minute with a well taken penalty.
For the second time in three days, Motherwell were left feeling hard done by. This time Willie Collum pointed to the spot for a foul on Callum McGregor whereas at Hampden Sinclair was deemed to have gone down too readily.
Taking the neutral stance, it isn’t hard to see why either was deemed an infringement although any team would feel harshly treated to have both calls go against them.
Now Motherwell head for Parkhead for the conclusion of their Celtic trilogy and Stephen Robinson’s men are 13/1 outsiders to land the win at the third attempt in six days.
They’ve put up two superb efforts although their recent record in Glasgow’s East End – nine goals conceded and none scored in three games – doesn’t offer much hope.
Motherwell have poured so much into the first two instalments, it is questionable if they’ll manage to sustain that effort for another 90 minutes. For that reason, the best bet in this clash may be the second half to be the half with most goals scored at 1/1.
Both games this week have been scoreless at the break and, with the suspicion that Motherwell will try hard but eventually fall short, Celtic may find the spaces appearing late in the game to capitalise.
Having tipped Aberdeen to win at Ibrox on Wednesday, it is fair to say we were left a bit short on that call.
Some solace was taken in the fact Ryan Christie was sent with six minutes left, the fifth red card in seven games between Rangers and Aberdeen (four in the last five) which was also noted going into the game.
They meet again on Sunday at Pittodrie. On recent evidence, the 3/1 available on a red card being issued in this fixture that so often gets feisty is surely overpriced.
Rangers won 3-0 at Pittodrie in April and, based on their supremacy on Wednesday evening in Govan, 29/20 also looks a shade too generous on the Light Blues for this one.
Hearts have won their last seven home matches against Hamilton Academical in all competitions and are 20/29 to do so again on Saturday.
Accies have hit some form recently, beating Rangers either side of draws with Aberdeen and Hibs, and they can emerge with a point from Tynecastle.
Hearts have failed to win in five games now which makes the draw a decent bet at 27/10.
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