Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson says his side would be as well ‘not turning up’ if they don’t believe they can defeat Celtic in Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final.
It is an admirable stance and clearly the correct attitude for Motherwell to adopt going into the showpiece clash, but few will be joining the Steelmen in believing they can upset the odds and halt Celtic.
Finding some value isn’t easy with the Scottish champions long odds-on to secure the much-vaunted and historic double-treble on Saturday. No team in Scotland has ever managed back-to-back domestic clean sweeps, now Brendan Rodgers has Celtic 90 minutes away from the feat.
They’ve failed to beat Motherwell twice in three attempts in the league this season, though both games came on the dicey Fir Park pitch that ‘Well reside on. Those results are in keeping with a Celtic season that has been more workmanlike than anything.
There have been stutters but when it matters most, the Hoops have delivered and I expect they’ll do so again here. Under Rodgers’ guise, Celtic have seemingly become become bullet-proof at Hampden Park.
Under previous manager Ronny Deila, Celtic lost three of their five games at Hampden. During Neil Lennon’s tenure they also suffered four defeats at the stadium. Rodgers, however, has a perfect seven-from-seven at the National Stadium.
Celtic haven’t been as good this season as they were last. That much is clear. Domestically however they’ve turned up when the heat has come on.
At Ibrox in March when reduced to ten men, they found a way to beat Rangers. In trips to Pittodrie they’ve quelled Aberdeen, the second best team in the land. Truth be told, the one team Rodgers and Celtic might fear facing in the cup final might have been Hibernian.
Motherwell’s successes against Celtic this season have been in containing scenarios. Tight games on tight pitches. In their one trip to Glasgow they shipped five goals.
Celtic have a multitude of goal threats. Tom Rogic has made a habit of scoring at Hampden and the Aussie is a decent bet at 27/20 to score on cup final day.
Overall, Celtic’s quality should shine through on the expanses of Hampden, Motherwell will provide a willing opponent, but they should come up a bit short.
For all new customers, ComeOn are currently offering a £10 free bet – make sure you sign up!