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Scottish Cup semi-final preview: Celtic to pile misery on rivals Rangers

The battle for a place in the Scottish Cup Final takes place over the weekend, with Falkirk facing Inverness CT and Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers locking horns.

Scottish League One outfit Falkirk have defied expectations to reach this stage of the competition and they will face Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Saturday's first semi-final at Hampden.

It is then the turn of Old Firm rivals Rangers and Celtic on Sunday as the duo do battle at the same venue in what promises to be another enthralling encounter between the pair.

Inconsistent Falkirk to fall short of Hampden return

WhatFalkirk v Inverness CT
WhereHampden Park, Glasgow
When12:15, Saturday 29th April
How to watchBBC One Scotland, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website & app
OddsFalkirk 12/5, Draw 5/2, Inverness CT 21/20

There will be a familiar feel to Saturday's first semi-final as Falkirk and Inverness CT clash in what is a repeat of the 2014/15 Scottish Cup final, which Caley Thistle won 2-1.

Inverness have returned to Hampden once since that success in this competition, when they lost in the semi-finals in 2018/19, while this weekend will mark Falkirk's first trip to this stadium since losing the final eight years ago.

A Championship outfit back in 2015, Falkirk now ply their trade in League One.  John McGlynn's charges currently occupy second place in the table and will have to go through the playoffs in order to earn promotion.

The Bairns warmed up for this encounter with a 4-1 victory at Alloa Athletic and that was a much-needed victory, as they had only tasted success once from their previous seven outings before that.

Inverness will be a stern test as they are third in the Championship, four points off top spot and still very much in the mix for a return to the Scottish Premiership for the first time since 2016/17.

Billy Dodds' side are on a seven-game unbeaten streak - winning six and drawing one - while just one defeat from their last 11 fixtures across all competitions further enhances their claims.

A win for Caley Thistle at 21/20 in the Full Time Result is hard to ignore, while a repeat of their 2-1 victory over Falkirk in the 2015 final is worth considering at 8/1.

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Bhoys to stay on course for treble

WhatRangers v Celtic
WhereHampden Park, Glasgow
When13:30, Sunday 30th April
How to watchViaplay Sports 1
OddsRangers 9/4, Draw 12/5, Celtic 6/5

It has been a dominant season for Celtic and they head into Sunday's encounter sitting top of the Scottish Premiership, 13 points clear of Rangers in second.

The Bhoys have already wrapped up the Scottish League Cup, beating the Gers 2-1 in the final, and Ange Postecoglou's side look primed for more success over their Old Firm rivals.

Rangers have only lost four times in the league this term, but two of those have come against Celtic, who are also unbeaten in the last eight meetings with the Light Blues in normal time.

Michael Beale's troops suffered a 2-0 defeat at Aberdeen last time out, making it two losses from their last three outings, while the Hoops drew 1-1 with Motherwell to extend their unbeaten record to 26 matches across all competitions.

It is hard to ignore Celtic at 6/5 To Win in the Full Time Result market given their fantastic run of form and recent victories over Rangers, who just can't seem to get the over line when taking on their fierce rivals in recent times.

Postecoglou's side just seem to have that bit of extra quality when required and one player that has continued to produce for the Hoops boss is Kyogo Furuhashi, who leads the league's scoring charts with 23 goals.

The Japanese star has netted five times in his last three meetings with Rangers, including braces in the most recent two contests, and he is 11/10 to score Anytime in the Goalscorers market.

A victory for Celtic would keep them on course to complete the treble for the first time since the 2019/20 campaign, which was also the last time they lifted the Scottish Cup.

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