Kenny Miller to draw first blood in Scottish Cup Final piling more misery on Hibs
Robbie Purves | May 19, 2016
Rangers v Hibernian
- Scottish Cup Final
- Saturday, April 17th
- Kick Off: 15:00 BST
- Hampden Park, Glasgow
- Live Sky Sports 1 and BBC One Scotland
Rangers deliver more misery for Hibs
The Scottish Cup Final will for the time be competed between two Championship sides this Saturday, as second-tier champions Rangers prepare to take on Hibernian.
Gers are fresh off the back of their league title triumph, which will see them return to the top flight of Scottish football after a four year absence. While, Hibs are preparing to face yet another year in the Championship, after crashing out off their Scottish Premiership play-off semi-final against Falkirk – courtesy of a heartbreaking Bob McHugh last-second goal.
The Easter Road side are looking to end an astonishing 114-year wait for the trophy when they face Mark Warburton’s men in the Hampden showdown – but the omens don’t look good. Last time the teams met in a cup competition was last July in the League Challenge Cup, the result that day was a thrashing 6-2 to Rangers.
Glasgow side Gers have not played a meaningful game of football since beating Celtic on penalties in the previous round of the cup, every game since either being a Championship encounter or a behind-closed-doors friendly to maintain fitness levels.
Rangers have become a fast, ferocious unit under Warburton and will not allow the Hibees any time on the ball. Coral have Gers are odds-on to lift the trophy at 6/5.
Kenny continues fine scoring form
Kenny Miller relishes playing against his former club and has netted a superb 12 in 22 matches against his former employers, since leaving Easter Road in 2000. The 36-year-old veteran has 20 goals in all competitions this term and is 9/2 to score first.
Miller has formed a formidable partnership with Martyn Waghorn, who has netted 28 in all competitions this year, and will cause Hibernian’s porous defence real problems.
However, Hibs have a goal threat of their own in the form of Jason Cummings – registering 18 in the league this term and has a fantastic record against Rangers. The 20-year-old has eight in 10 games against the Ibrox outfit and will look to take this form into the final – Cummings is 6/1 to score last against Rangers this Saturday.
This clash has the makings of a goal-fest with both teams favouring fast, free flowing football. The sides have averaged 4.6 in their last five meetings and are 9/2 to notch a total over 4.5 at Hampden this weekend.
With most of the focus on forwards, a key matchup that may be forgotten is the central midfield battle. Gers’ Andy Halliday started 47 of a possible 49 this term and is the absolute heartbeat of the Glasgow side. Born a literal stone’s throw away from Ibrox, Halliday has impressed throughout the season and kept Scott Brown quiet in the semi-final against Celtic.
Hibs’ midfield maestro is Liam Henderson, the 20-year-old Scot won the Norwegian top flight last year and has excelled in Edinburgh after being loaned out by Celtic getting 14 assist to his name in all competitions. The midfielder isn’t the most physical, but is able to use his skill and range of passing to boss the centre, setting up an intriguing battle with Halliday.
Coral’s top tip: With Miller’s excellent record against Hibs, why not take a punt on him to score first at 9/2.