Falkirk v Rangers: Gers to win but Bairns can strike first
Falkirk’s promotion push is going better than many could have expected this season, with the Bairns currently second only to Rangers in the Ladbrokes Championship and three points clear of Hibernian in third place.
A win at home against the Gers would be a real feather in manager Peter Houston’s cap and boost the Stirlingshire club’s chances of a return to the top flight but a look at recent history suggests the hosts will fall short against Mark Warburton’s men.
Rangers have won eight of the last 11 meetings, losing just once in that run and as such go into the tie as 8/15 favourites for good reason.
The Bairns can be backed at 4/1, with the draw on at 16/5 but with just two of the last 11 meetings ending all square there appears to be better value elsewhere.
Stats lovers will notice that Rangers have won six of those games without conceding a single goal and this could make the 17/10 on a win to nil for the visitors a tempting prospect, especially with the Ibrox outfit keeping a clean sheet in each of their last four victories against allcomers.
However, in John Baird Falkirk have one of the biggest goal threats in the second tier. The 30-year-old has netted an impressive 16 goals this season and exactly 50 per cent of those have come first in Falkirk’ games.
As such the 15/2 on the home hitman netting first seems to good to be ignored.
Baird is unlikely to be the only man on the scoresheet, however, with the Gers drawing a blank just once in their last 28 outings.
That run is thanks to the attacking prowess of Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn, who have netted 11 and 20 goals respectively in the league this season.
Those two have been ably assisted by Lee Wallace and Jason Holt who have netted seven and eight goals respectively.
No one in the Rangers set-up has opened the scoring more often than Holt, who has stuck first on five occasions alongside Miller.
The latter is the favourite to net first at 7/2 but with Holt available at 9/1 the value appears to be in backing the midfielder to come good once again.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing