Pick Pawlett in Cup clash

  • By: Gareth Friel
  • Last Updated: April 13 2014, 12:50 BST

Gareth Friel looks ahead to this weekend's Scottish Cup semi-finals and expects Dundee United to see off Rangers.

Dundee United are backed to see off Rangers
Dundee United are backed to see off Rangers

It's not often that Rangers head into a match at Ibrox as big underdogs but that is the case on Saturday when Dundee United visit for the first of the Scottish Cup semi-finals.

The furore surrounding the venue and the ticketing allocation is over and attention will turn to the action on the pitch with United looking to knock the Gers out of the Cup for the fourth time in five seasons.

Rangers suffered cup woe at Easter Road last Sunday, going down 1-0 to Raith Rovers in the Challenge Cup final. Another defeat could spell the end of Ally McCoist's reign in charge.

Dundee United, currently fourth in the Premiership, lost their last outing against Celtic but prior to that had won eight of ten, including victories that got them to this stage of the cup.

The 2-0 loss against Celtc was only the fourth time United have failed to score since October. For all their attacking talent though, they've kept the same number of clean sheets in that time.

It's hard to gauge where Rangers are. Performances have been patchy for some time despite their huge lead at the top of League One and they were one-paced and uninspiring in defeat to Raith.

What we do know is that they are at home, have a number of goalscoring threats in the final third and are vulnerable at the back.

I fancy United to prevail. Their youngsters will want to show just what they are capable of on the big stage and put Rangers in their place. Backing them to come out on top and both teams to score at 16/5 looks good.

The other semi-final sees St Johnstone take on Aberdeen in a repeat of their League Cup last four clash.

The Dons won that one 4-0 and went on to win the competition - they are 15/8 favourites to complete a famous cup double.

Midfielder Peter Pawlett has been a revelation this season and has been tipped as a potential Player of the Year contender. He has seven goals to his name including big strikes against Celtic in this competition and St Johnstone in the aforementioned League Cup semi.

Pawlett missed the League Cup final against Inverness and will be desperate to help earn his side another crack at a trophy.

He is a 4/1 shot to score at anytime on Sunday and that's worth a small punt.

  • Posted at 0812 BST on 10/04/2014.