Celtic and Rangers to clash at Hampden in Scottish Cup final

The Glasgow rivals meet at the national stadium in what will be a thrilling end to the season.

Celtic and Rangers to clash at Hampden in Scottish Cup final SNS Group

The final silverware of the season is on the line at Hampden on Saturday afternoon as Celtic and Rangers go head to head for the Scottish Cup.

Celtic have already celebrated winning the Premiership title, while Rangers lifted the League Cup earlier in the season, and both have designs on adding to their trophy collection this weekend.

It will be Celtic’s 61st appearance in a Scottish Cup final, and Rangers’ 54th final appearance. The Glasgow rivals haven’t faced each other at this stage of the competition since 2002.

Rangers were winners on that occasion after a 3-2 victory but the meetings between the pair this season have seen Celtic come out on top in three games, with the other a draw.

It can’t finish even on Saturday, of course, with extra-time and penalties in store if the teams can’t be separated over 90 minutes.

Both camps are confident they can lift the trophy and finish the season in style, and that sets things up for another dramatic derby.

What the managers say

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: Rangers manager Philippe Clement and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers during a Scottish Gas Scottish Cup press conference at Hampden Park, on May 23, 2024, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Speaking ahead of the final, Brendan Rodgers and Philippe Clement both spoke about the challenges they will face but there was a different tone from each camp as they prepare for the game.

Brendan Rodgers has seen Celtic finish the season strongly, winning their last five Premiership games and scoring 14 goals along the way. That included a win over Rangers at Celtic Park and there’s no doubt the momentum is with the holders.

The Celtic boss said his team go into the final in ideal condition and have been “on fire the last few months” but he insisted there was no danger he and his players would travel to Hampden thinking they couldn’t lose.

“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 arrive having won the league in a really, really good way, playing well, so we come into it in real good condition.”

Rangers manager Philippe Clement has selection issues facing him ahead of the game.

Leon Balogun, John Souttar, Tom Lawrence, Borna Barisic, Connor Goldson, Oscar Cortes, Rabbi Matondo and Danilo all missed the 3-3 draw with Hearts last week, while Ridvan Yilmaz is ruled out after suffering a fresh injury in that game.

Ryan Jack is back available, John Lundstram returns after suspension and Abdallah Sima can be expected to feature at some point but Clement was reluctant to talk about who he could call on as he looks to put together a team that can better Celtic.

“I don’t want to say too much about the squad,” he said.

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

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

Despite that, Clement and his players are focused on success.

He said: “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.”

Club captains eye trophy glory

After falling short in the league, Rangers captain James Tavernier says his side have to put in a performance good enough to earn silverware.

He said: “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 the thing is taking our moments to give ourselves the best possible chance to achieve what we want to achieve.

“The boys have been training hard this week and we are really prepared for the game. If it is 90 minutes, 120 minutes or penalties, we are prepared.”

Callum McGregor has picked up plenty of medals in his Celtic career but he is focused on adding to his collection and believes having been over the course before helps when it comes to the big occasions.

“We’ve always been confident and the last ten days have put us in a nice place and hopefully we can finish off the season with a double at the weekend,” he said.

“Resilience is the key word when you go to win leagues, you’ve got to stay together and trust each other and that’s we did and got it over the line and we deserved it.

“So we arrive into the game at the weekend full of confidence and we know what we need to do to be successful.

“At the start of every season I want to win everything that we are in and when you lose one it hurts and stays with you and throughout my career I’ve tried to limit the amount of times I’ve felt like that so come Saturday and I am going to try and limit the chances of feeling like that again.

“So come Saturday afternoon we want to be one’s left standing with the trophy.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code