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Celtic favourites for semi-final

Injury-hit Rangers must battle against all odds

Mark WarburtonCeltic are odds-on favourites to overcome their Old Firm rivals in today’s Scottish Cup semi-final which will also be seen as a test of Rangers’ preparation for a Premier League title challenge.

This morning the Parkhead club were as short as 4/6 and a  best-priced 14/19 to seal victory, while punters could get 4/1 on Rangers booking a place in the final. A draw was best-priced at 16/5.

Celtic have not been in convincing form, but are still fancied over turn their newly-promoted opponents who are hampered by the absence of injured Harry Forrester  and top-scorer Martyn Waghorn, while wingers Michael O’Halloran and Billy King cup tied.

However, there has been a transformation at Ibrox since the teams met in last year’s League Cup semi-final when there was some relief that they only lost by 2-0.

Even so, new manager Mark Warburton (pictured) has already admitted he will need at least five new players to compete effectively next season.

Celtic’s 37-goal frontman Leigh Griffiths and on-loan sensation Patrick Roberts could the players to light up Hampden.

But if the Premier League leaders lose it could spell the end for under-pressure boss Ronnie Delia who has said he is still pained by defeat in last year’s Cup semi-final.

Celtic squad (probable): Gordon, Lustig, Ambrose, Boyata, Sviatchenko, Tierney, Izaguirre, Johansen, Forrest, Mulgrew, Commons, Rogic, Bitton, Armstrong, Mackay-Steven, Griffiths, Christie, Allan, McGregor, Roberts, Kazim-Richards, Janko, Bailly.

Rangers squad (probable): Foderingham, Tavernier, Kiernan, Wilson, Wallace, Ball, Halliday, Holt, Miller, Clark, McKay, Bell, Law, Shiels, Zelalem, Thomson, Burt, McCrorie.


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