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Scottish League Cup odds

Scottish League Cup

Who wins the Scottish League Cup 2018/2019?

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Scotland’s Up For The League Cup

The eyes of the footballing fans will undoubtedly be focusing on the World Cup at present with the final taking place in Moscow on July 15th. However, even before the culmination of such a showpiece tournament another one will be starting in Scotland.

The 2018/19 Scottish League Cup sees the first of it’s fixtures played the previous day as eight groups of five clubs start their journey in one of two major cup competitions that take place north of the border.

The format which now sees an initial group phase has given the early stage of the tournament something of a revamp, especially as any fixtures that end in a draw go to a penalty-shootout. From here bonus points are awarded to the winners, a decision that has been warmly received by fans.

Holders Celtic along with Aberdeen, Hibernian and Rangers have received a bye through to the second round where they will make up four of the sixteen teams that will then take part in a straight knockout format.

Before that though 40 clubs will vie for the chance to join the best teams that Scotland have to offer, the format will see the eight group winners progress to the knockout phase while the eight group runners-up will not necessarily advance.

Here only four of the eight can move onto the second round, that quartet of runners-up with the best group record will make up the final qualifiers as the road to the final in Hampden becomes ever closer.

And speaking of the final, the question that everyone will ultimately be asking is whether Celtic can continue their dominance in the competition as of late. Brendan Rodgers’ men have won the last two editions on their way to successive trebles with the club lifting the trophy no fewer than 17 times.

They will undoubtedly go into this season’s edition of the competition as favourites to win once more, but at the same time anyone with a keen interest in Scottish Football will not be forgetting the interesting sub-plot that will potentially be thrown up.

This comes thanks to the appointment of Steven Gerrard as manager by Rangers. The former Liverpool captain not only makes his managerial bow, but he could also be paired against previous boss Brendan Rodgers.

Gerrard’s time as a Liverpool player came to an end under the managerial reign of Rodgers and it is perhaps fair to say that it was not the smoothest of the relationships between the two, with that in mind the apprentice will be looking to get one over the master on the way to lifting a first trophy while in charge of Rangers.

And it is Rangers who have had the most overall success in the competition, with 27 trophies to their name. At the same time though, they have not won a Scottish League Cup since the 2010/11 season, a game that saw Croatian forward Nikita Jelavic bag an extra time winner for the blue half of Glasgow.

Rangers have been living in Celtic’s shadow over the past few years, especially after having to work their way back through the Scottish leagues, but the arrival of Gerrard heralds a new era at the club. And should the former England international win this season’s League Cup then it will be a chance to lay down an early marker over new rivals Celtic, something that could well mean a changing of the guard in Scottish Football.