Rangers return from the Premiership winter break for Saturday evening’s trip to Dumbarton for this interesting Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie. Betfred’s Frank Monkhouse previews…
Scottish Premiership title contenders Rangers return from a warm weather training camp in Spain to face Dumbarton in the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup.
Moving from the sunnier climates of Spain to the wintery and cramped Dumbarton Football Stadium ensures the players return to earth with a thud, but they have a job to do. Having already won the League Cup, Gers now set their sights on progressing through the nation’s favourite knockout competition and towards a return to Hampden.
Dumbarton knows they are the outsiders to win this game, and despite holding the home advantage, it would take a huge slice of luck for The Sons to eliminate the Bears in front of their small band of loyal fans. But this competition is nothing if not unpredictable, and Dumbarton has pulled off a few giant killings in the past. Are we set for another upset in the shadow of the rock?
Rangers boss Philippe Clement has a strong team to choose from as much of his squad returns from injury.
The Belgian inherited a side ravaged by injuries from predecessor Michael Beale but will know his team better than ever following a winter break and that Spanish retreat. He’s likely to give minutes to several fringe players as he aims to get the squad back to full fitness and sharpness.
While their opponents have been sunning themselves on the continent, the part-timers of Dumbarton have been hard at work in Scottish League Two.
The Sons sit fourth in the bottom rung and are pushing for a playoff place and promotion back to League One. Despite their position, Stephen Farrell’s men are winless in their last four league games and will surely welcome the distraction cup football offers.
Dumbarton vs Rangers Odds
There are no surprises in the betting, with Betfred traders believing Dumbarton is just here to make up the numbers.
The Sons play their football three tiers below the visitors and operate on a part-time basis, which will likely show when facing the full-time experience of Glasgow Rangers.
If the Sons were to win on Saturday evening before the Premier Sports cameras set up at the Dumbarton Football Stadium with its 2000 capacity, it would be a sporting miracle. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Dumbarton are 22/1 at Betfred to win this game in 90 minutes, with the draw 9/1 and Rangers 1/25 to take victory back to Govan.
Rangers -3 handicap @ 7/5
As you might imagine, value is quite thin on the ground in this Scottish Cup tie, with Betfred traders asking bettors to predict how comfortably Rangers will win rather than if the Premiership team will get the desired result. That’s fair enough, given the circumstances, and we’re happy to play two bets at much better odds than you’ll find in the match-winner market on the Betfred website and app.
With a strong Rangers win predicted and a chance for Clement’s men to boost confidence levels and match sharpness ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Easter Road, we’re backing the visitors -3 goals on the handicap.
The pitch and stadium are small, and there’s not a lot of room to move the ball, meaning Gers must avoid being dragged into a scrap. If we see the kind of improvement expected in the attack, Saturday evening could be a stroll in the park. Backing -3 on the handicap gives us a shot at a decent return.
Rangers over 4.5 goals @ 9/4
Sticking with the idea of Rangers running riot in Dumbarton, we’re taking them to score more than four goals.
Yes, we’ll need a rub of the green to get this bet across the line and settled for a profit, but if the favourites can score early, there’s no reason why they can’t put a big number on the board. The timing of the first goal is crucial to this bet, and we’d like Rangers to break the deadlock as early as possible.
Interestingly, Rangers won 6-0 when last visiting Dumbarton, with that game played in the Championship during Rangers’ journey through the divisions.
Kenny Miller netted a hat-trick that day, but it’s worth remembering it took the Gers until the 42nd minute to get their noses in front. We’re hoping for another emphatic win, but with Gers getting their goals a little earlier to help put backers at ease.
Frank Monkhouse covers Scottish Football for us here at Betfred Insights. You can check out all of his work along with that of the rest of our Football Betting Tips desk on our main Football page...