Kick-off: 1730, 03/06/2023
Stadium: Hampden Park
TV: BBC1 Scotland
Celtic are expected to brush aside Inverness in Saturday’s Scottish FA Cup final and complete another domestic treble at Hampden Park.
Caley Thistle have enjoyed a great run in this competition but the mid-table Championship outfit will surely now have their limitations exposed.
We like 10/3 for the Hoops to prevail by exactly three goals for our first Celtic vs Inverness prediction.
Hoops not distracted by Postecoglou rumours
Despite a sloppy spell last month, Ange Postecoglou’s side topped the Premiership table by seven points and beat Rangers 2-1 in the Scottish League Cup final.
The Hoops have had to overcome three top-six teams to make it to this decider and look determined to finish another all-conquering campaign on a high.
Championship side Morton were crushed 5-0 in the fourth round before a late flurry of goals helped Celtic ease past St Mirren 5-1.
They were handed a dangerous-looking quarter-final tie away to Hearts but cruised to a comfortable 3-0 success.
Rangers provided stiffer opposition in the semis but the Hoops claimed victory in a tight match at Hampden courtesy of a close-range header from Jota late in the first half.
Talk of Tottenham’s reported interest in Postecoglou is a slight distraction, but defender Alistair Johnston is confident they will not be blown off course.
The right-back declared: “This ship is steering straight where it needs to go right to that cup final.
“We just don’t let that kind of stuff creep into the building in terms of letting guys’ heads turn.
“That’s super important and I think that goes to show why this club has been so successful.
“No words need to be spoken about that. It’s simple: head down, work hard, and hope you are going to be in the squad for the cup final and have a chance to lift the trophy.”
Striker Kyogo Furuhashi will hopefully be fit after going off with a leg knock during last Saturday’s 5-0 league win over Aberdeen.
The Japan international has scored 33 goals this season and has an impressive record in cup finals, with match-winning doubles in the League Cup in each of his two seasons with Celtic.
Looking at the 9/4.
Caley Thistle overcome rocky road to final
Inverness have certainly not had a smooth route to the season’s showpiece match, scrambling past lower-ranked opponents, enjoying an almighty reprieve and overcoming higher-ranked sides.
Caley Thistle’s road to Hampden began way back in November, when they were made to work hard before winning 3-2 at home to eventual League Two champions Stirling Albion in the third round.
The run looked over when they conceded two late goals to lose 2-0 at home to Championship rivals Queen’s Park in a fourth-round tie postponed by 10 days due to snow.
However, they earned a remarkable reprieve when it was established afterwards that their opponents had fielded an ineligible player and Inverness were handed a 3-0 win and reinstated to the competition.
Billy Dodds’ side took full advantage of their second chance as they set about pulling off a surprise and emphatic 3-0 fifth-round victory away to a Livingston side who at the time were riding high in fourth place in the Premiership.
Another top-flight scalp was taken in the quarter-finals as the Highlanders came from behind to defeat Kilmarnock 2-1.
Inverness were more clinical when opportunity knocked in a 3-0 semi-final triumph over League One side Falkirk, which wasn’t quite as one-sided as the scoreline suggested.
The underdogs will set out to stifle their opponents early on but Celtic are fancied to assert their authority on this tie sooner, rather than later.
Let’s add 27/20 for the Hoops to score between 15:01 and 30:00 minutes to our Celtic vs Inverness betting tips.
Head-to-head: Inverness 0-4 Celtic, Celtic 6-0 Inverness, Celtic 3-0 Inverness, Inverness 2-2 Celtic
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