Just two weeks of the new Scottish Premiership season have elapsed and already there are a new set of questions being asked.
Celtic clearly aren’t about to steamroller their way to title number eight in a row. The Hoops have been beaten by Hearts and have crashed from the Champions League. Brendan Rodgers isn’t happy with recruitment this summer.
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are moving in the right direction. The ex-England captain is galvanising the Ibrox club seemingly after a testing 18-month period that routinely saw them bullied by their Glasgow rivals.
Meanwhile in Edinburgh, both Hearts and Hibs are intent on having their say in the argument as managers Craig Levein and Neil Lennon seek a share of the limelight.
Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all to win @ 15/4
This weekend it is the last-16 stage in the Scottish League Cup and wins are anticipated for Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Hibs.
Celtic begin their pursuit of three League Cups on the spin with a trip to face Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday lunchtime.
It hasn’t been much a week for the Bhoys. Humbled by Hearts in the league and denied Champions League progress in Athens. Still, a trip across the city to face Championship opposition should offer them a chance to move on.
Later on Saturday afternoon Hearts will also be facing second-tier opposition as they face Dunfermline at East End Park.
Hearts to win -1 @ 17/10
The Jambos have been free-scoring of late, with 15 in the previous four games, twice having scored five in the League Cup. They should still be on a high after the win over Celtic last weekend and will aim to preserve that momentum now.
The Pars meanwhile haven’t managed a clean sheet if five games recently and have shipped five goals in their two Championship games so far. It all points to a routine Hearts success. They are including in our accumulator, but also make appeal give Dunfermline a headstart here.
There is a new grit about Rangers since Gerrard took over and, ahead of an Old Firm game early next month, a trip to Rugby Park can offer a taster of how much progress has been made by those in Light Blue.
Prior to a 1-0 victory at Ibrox in May, Rangers had failed to get the better of Killie in four successive league encounters, losing home and away last term. The Gerrard-era is off to a positive start and the Rangers chief won’t want it kicked into touch with a cup exit. His side can come through this test at odds of 5/8.
The final leg of the League Cup accumulator is Hibernian at home to Ross County. Relegated last term, the Dingwall outfit have made a strong start in the Championship but Hibs can make the most of their home advantage.
County sent Hibs packing from the competition a year ago on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes. Lennon and his team are capable of exacting revenge in Leith on Sunday.
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