Scottish Cup: Who will win the Old Firm final?

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Scottish Cup: Who will win the Old Firm final?

Celtic and Rangers are set to fight it out for the final piece of silverware in Scotland this season as the Old Firm rivals meet in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday.

Both sides have already won a trophy this term, but who will end their campaign by completing a double?

Celtic are on a high after retaining the Premiership title, while Rangers lifted the League Cup in December after the Hoops’ defence ended in their first tie with a defeat at Kilmarnock.

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It will be the first time the Old Firm rivals have met in the Scottish Cup final since 2002 when Peter Lovenkrands scored in the 90th minute to secure a 3-2 victory for Rangers.

The last Old Firm tie in the competition was last season with Celtic beating their rivals 1-0 in the semi-finals on their way to wrapping up a domestic treble.

This season’s meetings

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Highlights from the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers

If Rangers are to lift the Scottish Cup they will need to find a way to beat Celtic for the first time this season.

Kyogo Furuhashi’s stunning strike earned Celtic a 1-0 victory at Ibrox in the first Old Firm game this term after Rangers saw two early goals disallowed.

The Hoops then claimed a 2-1 victory in December to end Philippe Clement’s unbeaten start as Rangers manager, with Leon Balogun sent off.

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Rangers and Celtic shared six goals in an epic match at Ibrox

It was an epic clash at Ibrox in March as Rabbi Matondo earned the Gers a 3-3 draw after Celtic had taken a 2-0 lead before half-time.

The final Premiership meeting earlier this month saw Celtic all but wrap up the title with a 2-1 victory.

Celtic have only suffered one defeat against their Glasgow rivals in the previous 11 derbies – an Ibrox league loss after last season’s title was already clinched.

What the managers said?

Brendan Rodgers has never lost at Hampden Park as Celtic manager and his record against Rangers is equally impressive with 13 wins and just one defeat in 17 encounters.

But, despite the Hoops’ current dominance over their rivals, Rodgers insists they are not going to the national stadium thinking the trophy is already theirs.

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers insists there will be no complacency from his players in Saturday’s Old Firm Scottish Cup final despite a strong record against their rivals

“You can never have that arrogance,” he said. “It’s not how we work. We have a humility in how we work. We respect every opponent that we play, whether it’s Rangers or Raith, or whoever. We have to prepare for the game.

“We come into the game in the ideal condition, I don’t think there is any doubt that we have been on fire the last few months.

“There were lots of challenges at the beginning of the season, playing every three or four days when really important players are missing.

“But as the season has built up and into the pressure moments, the players have been absolutely superb in how they dealt with that. So we arrive having won the league in a really, really good way, playing well. So we come into it in real good condition.”

Philippe Clement is ready to take risks with his injury-hit Rangers squad as he looks for his first win against Celtic to end the season on a high.

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Rangers manager Philippe Clement insists his players will give everything to try and end their season with a Scottish Cup final win against Celtic

“This is the final game, the decisive game, so maybe we have to take some risks with players that we don’t normally do,” he said.

“So I don’t want to get into which player is ready or not or who can start or not.

“It is always more than a trophy in this country between the two clubs.

“Of course you want a better preparation. The last six, eight weeks have been difficult with players going out, coming back but missing rhythm.

“It is now about this one moment, about 90 minutes, 120 minutes, penalties, to give everything with everyone who is available.

“I think a few players want to come on the pitch with crutches. I can’t allow that of course, but we are going to go hard with the team, with every energy that is available in the building.

“We have to focus on this moment, grab the moment. All the players want to play in this game. All of them.”

McGregor: This is why you play football

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McGregor insists every player should be excited by a Scottish Cup final as Celtic look to beat Rangers and end the season with a double

Celtic captain Callum McGregor: “It’s a great showpiece for Scottish football and brilliant to be involved in as a player, this is what you want to do. This is why you play football.

“If this doesn’t get you excited you’re probably in the wrong sport.

“We know what cup finals are like, we know what these derby games are like and if you don’t turn up on the day then you make it really difficult to get a result.

“We understand what we have to give to the game. Both teams will know each other reasonably well.

“It comes down to what are the players prepared to give, who turns up on the day and who maybe gets that little bit of luck to get over the line.”

Tavernier: We need an extra 15 per cent

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Tavernier believes Rangers can find a way to beat Celtic for the first time this season to lift the Scottish Cup

Rangers captain James Tavernier: “We have to give a performance for the fans and we obviously have to get the backing of the fans, but first and foremost that comes down to us and the level of performance.

“We fell short in a few games this season. We have the Viaplay Cup, lost out in the league but we have a chance to get another trophy so we will do everything possible to do that.

“We obviously need that extra 10/15 per cent management during the games and the key thing is taking our moments to give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve what we want to achieve.

“In the previous games [against Celtic], if certain moments were taken there would be different outcomes.

“I can speak all I want but we obviously have to do our talking on the pitch.

“We will relish the moment, we have prepared ourselves the best we can this week and we can only do the talking on the pitch.”

When is kick-off?

It is a 3pm kick-off at Hampden Park

Image: It is a 3pm kick-off at Hampden Park

The game will go head to head with the FA Cup final between Man City and Man Utd with both getting under way at 3pm.

Until last year, the FA Cup final had kicked off at 5.15pm every year since 2011.

That decision saw the Scottish FA move the Hampden showpiece back to 5.30pm, sparking outrage from fans of Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

So with the governing body keen to avoid another backlash and Police Scotland reluctant to have an Old Firm match kicking off later, it has been decided a direct clash north and south of the border is the best option.

Match officials

Referee Nick Walsh did not award a penalty on the field - a decision backed by VAR

Image: Referee Nick Walsh will take charge of the Scottish Cup final

Nick Walsh will be the referee in charge at Hampden Park on Saturday.

It will be the second time he has taken charge of an Old Firm clash this season, having been the man in the middle at Celtic’s 2-1 win in December. He also took charge of Celtic’s Viaplay Cup final win against Rangers last season.

AR1: Calum Spence

AR2: David Roome

4th Official: Steven McLean

VAR: John Beaton

AVAR: David McGeachie

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