St Johnstone return to Hampden as they aim to do the cup double and Frankie Monkhouse is backing them to do just that at a chunky price in Saturday's end of season spectacle...
"The head-to-head this season shows three wins for Saints, one for Hibs and a draw. With that record in mind, I'm happy to take the bigger price on a win for the Saints."
Fans return for Scottish Cup final
St Johnstone and Hibs have a rare chance to win one of the most historic cup competitions in world football as the pair clash in Saturday's Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park. This will be the first time the clubs have played in front of fans in over a year after Hollyrood paved the way to make this a test event for the upcoming Euro 2020 fixtures.
This season's final is a unique affair with neither half of the Old Firm involved. Rangers eliminated sorry Celtic in the early rounds only to be beaten on penalties in the next round by finalists St Johnstone.
Saints are out to do the double, adding the Scottish Cup to the League Cup won earlier in the season. To achieve that they'll have to beat a Hibs side that lifted the trophy as recently as 2016.
Remarkable campaign for the Saints
St Johnstone made history back in February by winning the League Cup final, beating Livingston 1-0 thanks to a goal from Shaun Rooney. The Perth side have already enjoyed a remarkable campaign, even without the backing of their support.
They added a Premiership top-six finish to that cup success and are now on the cusp of winning the Scottish Cup for the second time. Their only other success in this tournament came in 2014 when beating Dundee United 2-0 with goals from Steven Anderson and Steven MacLean.
Callum Davidson's side made it this far by beating competition favourites Rangers 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-final before edging St Mirren 2-1 in the semi-final earlier this month. Since securing a top-six finish in the Premiership they have had one eye on this game and their league form has suffered as a result.
Hibs hoping to banish cup final pain
Hibs have become the bridesmaids of this competition having ended as runners up more times than they'd care to remember (11). They have picked up the famous silverware three times, however, making them the tournament's sixth most successful club. Their wins came in 1887 and 1902 and the Hibees ended a painful drought when beating Mark Warburton's Rangers at Hampden against all the odds in 2016.
The Edinburgh club, like their fellow finalists, ended in the top six, finishing best of the rest behind the Old Firm in third place. They were well behind Steven Gerrard's champions and the managerless Hoops but comfortably clear of Aberdeen in fourth. A bronze medal finish and Scottish Cup win would go down as a successful season for boss Jack Ross.
Hibs secured their spot in the last two with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Dundee United in the semi-final. They edged out the Tangerines with goals from Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge. That was followed with a strong win over Aberdeen in the league to cement third. That allowed them to focus on this match, resting players and working on tactics.
All to play for
A final involving two teams here on merit and two knowing they won't get many better opportunities to win this trophy with Rangers and Celtic out of the running. Both will be confident they have what it takes to lift the cup and that'll make it a fascinating match for armchair fans watching the game unfold, as well as the few hundred in the stands.
The pre-match betting available on the Betfair Exchange has St Johnstone priced at 3.211/5 with Hibs trading at odds of 2.526/4. You can take the draw at 3.185/40.
Plenty for stats fans
Followers of the stats have plenty to go on here with this match being the sixth time the teams have met this season. Four in the Premiership and one in the League Cup. The last two have produced a 1-0 win for Saints and the head-to-head this season shows three wins for Saints, one for Hibs and a draw. With that record in mind, I'm happy to take the bigger price on a win for the Saints.
Just as interesting is all but one of those games seen the winning team keep a clean sheet with three producing a 1-0 score. No both teams to score is 1.75/7 or you can try under 2.5 goals at 1.558/15. Yes is 2.1211/10 with over 2.5 2.588/5.
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