SCOTTISH CUP FINAL
GLASGOW RANGERS - QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
Let's be certain about one thing, there is a huge gulf in class between these two sides, far more than a cursory glance at the league tables might tell us, they are also separated by over 100 years of history and tradition.
However, one team ,Rangers, are out on their feet, having played nine vital matches in 25 days and this is their fourth, since last saturday. That would not be an over riding concern, if that had not lost both the SPL and the UEFA Cup, together with the added pressure that the off the pitch trouble in Manchester, brought with it. They are both physically and mentally running on empty.
This is a dream for QOTS, who have finished the season exceptionally strongly, playing as well as any side in Division 1. From one extreme to the other, they have not played at all for 28 days ! Which is not ideal either.
So, we have one exhausted side, meeting another, who are likely to be fired up, but rusty. It might take a while for this one to get going and I see huge value in the half time draw.
4.5 points half time draw 2.80 + .... 3.0 in places.
HULL CITY - BRISTOL CITY
I have to side with the Tigers, who are certainly the more offensive minded of these two and have the big time players, who are likely to thrive in the atmosphere.
In Nicky Barmby, they have a player who has done it all before and who comes into the final in fantastic form. He, along with Caleb Folan, the supremely gifted Fraizer Campbell, on loan from Manchester United and the veteran Dean Windass, give them almost unlimited attacking options. The evergreen Windass has turned into a dream professional and is really looking after the youngsters in the side and also himself, when I heard him on a radio phone in earlier this week, he was already in bed at 9pm and that six days before the game, on a rest day ! He is a boyhood fan of Hull, as are his entire family and this means everything to him.
Former Brentford players have a fantastic record in this playoff final and in Michael Turner, Hull have a former Bee, the classy Turner is a very composed central defender and has always been destined to play at a very high level. He is excellent in the air and will be sent forward for free kicks and corners, he has scored four times in the last seven weeks and must be worth a small interst in the anytime scorer market at huge odds.
Bristol have had a fantastic season, but to my mind are a little below the other playoff sides and have really ridden their luck at times.You can argue about this, but Hull is said to be the biggest city in europe, that has never hosted top flight football, they can put that right today, in a match worth a conservative £60m to the winner.
5.5 points Hull -1/4 ball 2.0 asian line.
0.5 points Turner to score anytime 11.0 + .... 15.00 in places