St Mirren get Cup vote

Our tipster Gareth Friel thinks St Mirren will beat Hearts in Sunday's Scottish Communities League Cup final.

Last Updated: 17/03/13 at 15:01 Post Comment

McGowan: Key man for St Mirren

McGowan: Key man for St Mirren

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Our expert Gareth Friel thinks St Mirren will beat Hearts in Sunday's Scottish Communities League Cup final.

Hearts go into Sunday's Scottish Communities League Cup final aiming to hold both national cup competitions at the same time for the first time in their history.

Having won the Scottish Cup back in May, the Jambos will create history if they can beat St Mirren at Hampden, an outcome that would provide some cheer in what has been a miserable season on and off the pitch for the Tynecastle club.

They sit third bottom of the SPL - just one point ahead of Saints but having played a game more - are currently managerless and have had, as has become par for the course, a host of financial troubles to contend with.

A lot of that would be forgotten for a few hours at least if Hearts managed to win another trophy. But it's hard to split theses two teams.

Little separates them in the league while the home side has been the victor when the sides have met.

Hearts are the odds-on favourites to lift the trophy but although they've taken four points from their last two games, can they really be trusted at such a short price?

They have Ryan Stevenson back from suspension and his experience will be vital but it's difficult to see where goals will come from. They don't have too much creativity in their ranks having lost the likes of David Templeton and Andy Driver this season while only Dundee have scored less goals in the SPL.

Saints produced a huge upset in the semi-finals with a 3-2 victory over Celtic and if they perform like they did that day then they will more than likely lift the cup.

The likes of Steven Thompson and Gary Teale have played at Hampden on numerous occasions while this is the stage Paul McGowan will be looking to shine on. He will be Saints' main hope of creativity and will surely relish the chance to make a big impression in front of the nation.

Danny Lennon's side are 19/10 to win the cup in 90 minutes and although it's not with any great confidence I'm tipping it, that price does seem a bit big given how little there is between the two.

Elsewhere, another big price stands out. As I've already mentioned, Paul McGowan is a key player for the Saints and could be the difference between the teams given how well matched they are.

He has five goals to his name for the season which makes him the club's joint-third top scorer despite only playing 18 games.

He netted in the win against Celtic and in an earlier round against Ayr and although he is as short at 11/4 to score at anytime with bet365, Coral make him an 11/2 shot which is well worth backing.


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