The stage is set for this weekend’s League Cup final as Aberdeen and Rangers prepare to fight it out for the first piece of silverware this season.
Both clubs arrive at the National Stadium on the back of impressive midweek wins in Europe with the Dons beating Eintracht Frankfurt at Pittodrie and the Ibrox side securing their place in the Europa League last-16 with a victory over Real Betis in Spain.
But all attention now turns to picking up a trophy that has alluded them in recent years with Rangers’ last victory in the competition coming in 2011 and Aberdeen’s three years later in 2014.
Barry Robson’s side seem to have turned a corner after a poor run of results with victories over Hearts and Frankfurt in their last two games, while Rangers have also put a bad start well and truly behind them under new manager Philippe Clement.
The Belgian is now 13 games unbeaten since replacing Michael Beale in October with ten wins and three draws in all competitions.
But the only domestic game he has failed to win was against Sunday’s opponents when the teams fought out a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie last month.
Aberdeen have had the best of recent meetings between the pair with two wins and a draw from the last meetings, including a 3-1 win at Ibrox that signalled the end of Beale’s time at the club.
We take a look back at how both clubs reached the points with their games in the earlier rounds.
Road to Hampden
Both clubs entered the competition with the rest of the Premiership in round two when holders Celtic were knocked out in a shock defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
They faced lower league opposition at this stage with Aberdeen travelling to take on Stirling Albion and Rangers hosting Greenock Morton.
It all started back in August when Aberdeen travelled to Forthbank Stadium to play the League One side on a Friday night in what was their first cup game since last season’s disastrous defeat to Darvel.
Bojan Miovski put them in front in the first-half before Leighton Clarkson doubled their lead with just under half an hour to go.
Greig Spence got one back for the The Binos late on but it wasn’t enough to stop Aberdeen from getting up and running.
The next day Rangers survived a scare at Ibrox to see off the Championship side Greenock Morton 2-1.
After the first half ended goalless, Morton took a shock lead early in the second when Grant Gillespie put them ahead from the penalty spot.
But seven minutes later Rangers had a penalty of their own which was converted by Cyriel Dessers in the absence of captain James Tavernier, and Danilo scored his first goal for the club soon after to give Michael Beale’s side the win.
August 18: Stirling Albion 1-2 Aberdeen
August 19: Rangers 2-1 Greenock Morton
Both teams played their all-Premiership clash quarter-finals on a Wednesday night with Aberdeen making the trip to Ross County and Rangers having a home tie against Livingston.
Graham Shinnie gave the Dons an early lead before Ester Sokler put them 2-0 up with ten minutes of the game remaining.
They again had to survive a late score though after County pulled on back through a Kyle Turner penalty.
It was much more straight forward for Rangers who beat David Martindale’s side 4-0 in Glasgow.
Abdallah Sima put them ahead, before a strike from Ridvan Yilmaz who all but sealed their place in the next round when he made it two with half an hour to go.
They scored another two late on to add a bit of gloss to the score-line through a De lucas own goal and a Ryan Jack strike.
September 27: Ross County 1-2 Aberdeen
September 27: Rangers 4-0 Livingston
And just like that a trip to Hampden in November awaited both the sides for the semi-finals with the two Edinburgh clubs providing the opposition.
First up was Aberdeen’s game against Hibernian and Bojan Miovski scored the only goal of the game to secure a return to Hampden for the final.
The Dons ran their luck a bit with Martin Boyle having a goal chopped off and Hibs having most of the best chances.
Rangers played Hearts the next day in a game that came just a week after Clement’s side scored two late goals to beat the Tynecastle men 2-1 at Ibrox despite being behind for most of the game.
After a lacklustre first-half at the National Stadium the game sprung into life in the second when James Tavernier scored a penalty to make it 1-0.
Scott Wright doubled their lead before Tavernier got himself on the scoresheet again to make it 3-0.
Scotland forward Lawrence Shankland pulled one back from the penalty spot with ten minutes remaining but by then it was too little too late for Steven Naismith’s men and Rangers book themselves a final spot.
November 4: Hibernian 0-1 Aberdeen (Hampden Park)
November 5: Hearts 1-3 Rangers (Hampden Park)
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