It’s five years since Rangers last won the Scottish Cup, with fans put through the wringer in the intervening years, but the turmoil that followed looks set to give way to glory with the Gers just two games away from a Hampden Park return.
And while supporters will no doubt be cautiously optimistic at the news, punters should be delighted, given that the Glasgow club are still a favourable 3/1 to claim the trophy.
One man who is less than convinced at their chances though, is manager Ally McCoist, who moved to pour cold water on any hopes during a recent interview with the BBC.
“I’m not trying to play any mind games when I say this but I think Aberdeen and Dundee United will, in a lot of people’s eyes, still have a slightly better chance,” he said.
“We’re in the mix but when you consider the other teams in there, I still don’t think we’re favourites.”
In one sense the former Scotland international is not wrong – Ladbrokes has Aberdeen priced as the current favourites to lift the trophy at 5/2 – but in another sense he is forgetting that one major obstacle to any potential success has been lifted – the current holders Celtic.
Dispatched 2-1 by the aforementioned Dons, the Bhoys were seen as the team most likely to oust the Gers and while fans hoping for another Glasgow derby have been left disappointed, for the blue half of the city, there are other reasons to be cheerful.
For one, Rangers head into the quarter-finals in good form, with their 4-0 win over Dunfermline representing their eighth consecutive win in all competitions, as part of a 29-game unbeaten run during which they have drawn just once and won a whopping 28 times.
Indeed, the Ibrox club have enjoyed far more consistency this term and will relish an appearance in the last eight, where they will face Albion Rovers – the only team still in the competition that is ranked lower in the SPFL pyramid than them.
Scottish Cup success has financial benefits too, with the club gaining a route back into Europe – albeit via the Europa League.
With a squad more befitting of a team in their own top flight, Rangers will be confident that, on their day, they can beat anyone.
McCoist may not believe it, but that day may have just arrived.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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