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May 16th, 2012 by Paul Wilson
It’s is the most eagerly awaited Scottish Final in years, a City derby that can rival the intensity of an Old Firm clash… The all-Edinburgh Cup Final between Hibs and Hearts takes place this Saturday at Hampden Park, Glasgow and it promises to be a cracker.
Both Hibs and Hearts last met in the Scottish Cup Final a mere 116 years ago back in 1896 and in that game the Jambos won the final 3-1. Hearts have gone onto win the Scottish Cup a further 5 times since that famous capital city derby final – their last Final win was back in 2006 when the team from Gorgie Road needed penalties to overcome the now defunct Gretna FC.
Hibs last won the Scottish Cup back in 1902 – they’ve managed 8 Final appearances since then without any joy – their last Final was back in 2001 when the Hibees suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a Henrik Larsson inspired Celtic.
Hearts go into the 2012 Scottish Cup Final as standout favourites. A top 6 finish in the SPL plus also winning all three Edinburgh derbies this season has made it easy for the bookies to prefer Hearts as Scottish Cup betting favourites.
Pat Fenlon, Hibernian’s manager, has been involved in a relegation battle for the major part of the season. He has seen his Hibs team put in some ‘awful’ displays this season, especially at home – winning just twice in 19 games – however, the Leith outfit have been better on their travels and must prepare in the same manner for Saturday’s big game.
Fenlon has whisked his Hibs players off to Dublin this week, away from the pressure that the build-up to the Scottish Cup Final brings. Yet with nearly 25,000 Hibees travelling through from the capital and crammed into Hampden come kick-off, Fenlon will be hoping that his players embrace the Hampden ‘roar’ after the isolation of Dublin.
It’s likely that this will be Rudi Skacel’s last match in a Hearts strip. The talismanic Czech midfielder has not been offered a new contract and with Hearts seeking to cut their budget ahead of next season it’s probable they’ll not be able to afford the skilful Skacel’s wage demands.
Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, a lifelong Hearts fan will be making his way to Hampden on Saturday alongside 25,000 other Maroon fans. It’s certainly going to be a spectacle and it is a Scottish Cup Final that has captured the imagination of the Scottish people.
As for predictions, I’m going to predict the Scottish Cup will finish 1-1 and Hearts will win on penalties.
BetVictor are offering best betting odds of 5/2 that the Scottish Cup will finish in a draw
BetVictor are offering best betting odds of 11/2 that the correct score will finish 1-1
Paddy Power are best betting odds of 8/13 for Hearts to lift The Scottish Cup
Blue Square are best betting odds of 10/1 that Hearts will win the Scottish Cup on penalties
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