Hibernian’s relationship with the Scottish Cup has never really been a good one.
Infamously, they haven’t lifted ‘the old lady of Scottish football’ since 1902, a drought of 111 years, and last season they were humiliated 5-1 in the final by fierce Edinburgh rivals Hearts in what has gone down as one of the darkest days in the club’s history.
On Sunday they have yet another chance to end more than a century of heartache but, to do it, they will have to beat a side who have denied them at the final hurdle on four occasions since 1902 – in 1914, 1923, 1972 and 2001.
The defeat to Celtic in 1972 was particularly painful, an embarrassing 6-1 hammering at Hampden, while the most recent one, in 2001, saw Martin O’Neill’s legendary side stroll to a 3-0 triumph.
It is little surprise, therefore, that Celtic are huge favourites with bwin to win the match in 90 minutes, priced at 7/20, while you will get odds of just 13/100 on them lifting the trophy.
This is compared to odds of 27/4 on the Hibees completing a long-awaited cup win in 90 minutes, and 4/1 on them lifting the trophy.
With Hibernian’s tendency to inflict embarrassment on themselves on occasions such as these, however, a quirky bet could be to back Celtic to inflict a second successive 5-1 defeat on Pat Fenlon’s men – an outcome that is on offer at 12/1 if you back ‘any other score’ in the Goalbet market.
Under normal circumstances Hibs might take some solace from the fact that only three teams have ever lost successive Scottish Cup finals in the competition’s history, however that boost is tempered by the predictably distressing realisation that one of those teams is them – losing back-to-back finals in 1923 and 1924.
However, one stat which is in their favour is that Celtic were the opposition when they won the cup in 1902, and with nothing much else to cling to it will probably be this fact that Hibs fans keep reciting on their buses, trains and cars on Sunday afternoon.
The score that day was 1-0, and that was also the score when Hibs beat Neil Lennon’s men at Easter Road in the SPL earlier this season, so if Hibs are to win the game then backing a 1-0 scoreline at odds of 20/1 could pay off.
Celtic, though, have won this trophy five times since the turn of the millennium and go into the game on the back of a great 4-0 win over Dundee United last Sunday.
They are 17/50 to score the first goal of the game, 11/10 to score in both halves and 8/5 to score more than three goals.
The best bet, though, could be backing Celtic to win either 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 in the multiple correct score market, an outcome that is on offer at 33/20.
New customers to bwin qualify for a free £20 bet and using that to back this outcome will return £53 if successful.
Whatever happens though, it will take a brave person to back the Easter Road side after 111 years of hurt.