MX23RW : Tuesday, June 18 07:25:37| >> :120:42985:42985:
[monks data]
Celtic logo
Scottish Cup | Final
May 25, 2024 at 3pm UK
Celtic Park
Rangers logo

1 - 0

Idah (90')
McGregor (41'), Hart (59'), Idah (64'), Forrest (68'), Taylor (73'), Raskin (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Sima (54'), Sterling (63'), Cantwell (74'), Yilmaz (84'), Kuhn (90+1'), Maeda (90+4')

Preview: Celtic vs. Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Scottish Cup clash between Celtic and Rangers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

For the first time in 22 years, Glaswegian rivals Celtic and Rangers will meet at Hampden Park for an Old Firm derby in the Scottish Cup final on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams are looking to end the season on a high by winning their second piece of domestic silverware, as Celtic have already retained the Scottish Premiership while Rangers won the Scottish League Cup five months ago.

Match preview

Celtic's Callum McGregor and Joe Hart lift the trophy with teammates after winning the Scottish Premiership on May 18, 2024© Reuters

Celtic entered their final Scottish Premiership game of the season having already been crowned champions for the 54th time in their history and they ended their successful defence of the top-flight crown with a thrilling 3-2 home victory over St Mirren last weekend.

Player of the Season Matt O'Riley cancelled out an early opener from Mark O'Hara, but the St Mirren midfielder put the visitors back in front from the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark. However, Kyogo Furuhashi ensured that Celtic headed into half time level, before Luis Palma scored four minutes from time to complete the turnaround.

Christmas came early for Celtic as they were bizarrely presented with the Premiership trophy on one of the hottest days of the year by Santa Claus, who has now taken the Parkhead faithful off his naughty list six months after receiving a merciless chorus of boos during the Hoops' 2-0 home defeat to Hearts.

Celtic have since lost just one of their last 24 games in all competitions, winning each of their final five league fixtures to finish eight points clear of Rangers in second.

Brendan Rodgers is now tasked with steering Celtic to a record-extending 42nd Scottish Cup and their eighth triumph in the last 10 years; the Northern Irishman has only lost one of his previous 17 meetings with Rangers as Hoops manager and believes that his side head into Saturday's final in "the ideal condition".

Celtic - who have beaten Buckie Thistle, St Mirren, Livingston and Aberdeen (on penalties in the semi-finals) to progress to Saturday's showpiece - will be confident of success against the Gers as they have not lost any of their four encounters with their Old Firm rivals this season, winning three times by an aggregate score of 5-2 and drawing once - a thrilling 3-3 draw at Ibrox in April.

Rangers' James Tavernier lifts the trophy as they celebrate winning the Scottish League Cup on December 17, 2023© Reuters

After failing to win any silverware last season, Rangers will have at least one trophy in the bag this term after beating Aberdeen by a 1-0 scoreline in the Scottish League Cup final in December.

However, for the fifth time in six seasons, the Gers must settle for a second-placed finish in the Premiership after dropping points in 11 of their 38 games, including six since the turn of the year. One of those was last weekend's dead-rubber fixture at Hearts, though, in which Rangers let a two-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 at Tynecastle.

Goals from Ross McCausland, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva seemingly put Rangers in control after Lawrence Shankland had given Hearts an early lead, but with eight minutes remaining, Dexter Lembikisa pulled one back for the Jam Tarts before fellow substitute Kyosuke Tagawa scored a dramatic 95th-minute equaliser to snatch a point at the death.

Philippe Clement was left "disappointed" by the manner in which his side conceded three goals against Hearts, and the Rangers manager has encouraged his players to be "switched on all the time" in a game with "more than just a trophy" on the line this weekend.

Rangers, who have beaten Dumbarton, Ayr United, Hibernian and Hearts to advance to Saturday's final, have not celebrated success against Celtic for over a year, but they have come out on top in the last two Old Firm Scottish Cup meetings - a 2-1 semi-final win after extra time in April 2022 and a 2-0 quarter-final victory a year earlier.

The Gers will also reminisce about the last Old Firm Scottish Cup final back in 2002, an all-time classic, when they came from behind to win 3-2 courtesy of a dramatic 90th-minute winner from Peter Lovenkrands.

Celtic Scottish Cup form:

Celtic form (all competitions):

Rangers Scottish Cup form:

Rangers form (all competitions):

Team News

Celtic's Matt O'Riley celebrates scoring their fourth goal on May 15, 2024© Reuters

Celtic boss Rodgers had no injuries to report at his pre-match press conference, although it remains to be seen whether Yang Hyun-Jun will return to the matchday squad having missed each of the Hoops' last five games with a foot problem.

Centre-back Stephen Welsh has been passed fit after a minor shoulder injury and could be part of the squad, although he is unlikely to be named in the starting XI.

Rodgers made a total of six changes to the side that beat St Mirren last weekend, but he is set to revert back to his strongest starting lineup against Rangers, with Alistair Johnston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Liam Scales all in line to return in defence, protecting veteran goalkeeper Joe Hart who is set to start for the final time in his professional career before he retires from football.

O'Riley, who has recorded 19 goals and 18 assists in 48 games for Celtic this season, is expected to be joined in midfield by captain Callum McGregor and Reo Hatete, while Adam Idah and Daizen Maeda will be pushing for a recall in attack.

As for Rangers, Clement has kept his cards close to his chest on the injury front, but he has admitted that he is ready to take risks with a number of players in his injury-hit squad.

Connor Goldson, Leon Balogun, John Souttar, Borna Barisic, Tom Lawrence, Oscar Cortes, Rabbi Matondo and Danilo all missed last weekend's draw with Hearts, but the Gers were boosted by the return of Abdallah Sima and Ridvan Yilmaz, who made cameo substitute appearances and could be fit to start on Saturday.

Top scorer James Tavernier, who has netted two of his team-high 24 goals against Celtic this season, will continue at right-back, while Dujon Sterling, Kieran Dowell, Ryan Jack and Fabio Silva will all be hoping to force their way back into the first XI after beginning as substitutes last time out.

Rangers will also have John Lundstram back available for selection after serving a two-game suspension, stemming from his red card in the last Old Firm derby earlier this month.

Lundstram will not have particularly fond recent memories of this fixture, though, having also scored an own goal shortly before being given his marching orders at Parkhead a couple of weeks ago.

Celtic possible starting lineup:
Hart; Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor; McGregor, Hatate, O'Riley; Forrest, Furuhashi, Maeda

Rangers possible starting lineup:
Butland; Tavernier, King, Davies, Yilmaz; Diomande, Raskin; McCausland, Cantwell, Silva; Dessers

SM words green background

We say: Celtic 3-1 Rangers

Another enthralling, action-packed Old Firm showdown is set to be in store on Saturday, and goals are to be expected at both ends considering the defences of both sides have been far from watertight in recent weeks, particularly Rangers who have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 games.

Even if the Gers are able to welcome back some of their star names from injury, Celtic will still be regarded as favourites and have the firepower to outscore their city rivals en route to retaining the Scottish Cup.

The form book can go out of the window in derby matches - yet alone in cup final derby matches - and Rangers will always fancy their chances of toppling their bitter rivals in a one-off game, but we expect Celtic to make it yet another league and cup double.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Rangers manager Philippe Clement, Mohammed Diomande, Tom Lawrence and John Souttar clash with Celtic's Liam Scales after the match on April 7, 2024
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Clement, Rodgers assess title race after six-goal Old Firm thriller
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Group A

1 Germany Germany11003
2 Switzerland Switzerland11003
3 Hungary Hungary10010
4 Scotland flag Scotland10010

Group B

1 Spain Spain11003
2 Italy Italy11003
3 Albania national flag Albania10010
4 Croatia Croatia10010

Group C

1 England flag England11003
2 Denmark Denmark10101
3 Slovenia Slovenia10101
4 Serbia Serbia10010

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands11003
2 France France11003
3 Poland Poland10010
4 Austria Austria10010

Group E

1 Romania Romania11003
2 Slovakia Slovakia11003
3 Belgium Belgium10010
4 Ukraine Ukraine10010

Group F

1 Czech Republic Czech Republic00000
2 Georgia Georgia00000
3 Portugal Portugal00000
4 Turkey Turkey00000

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