Aitken prepares to live his boyhood dream

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The Independent Football

Queen of the South defender Andy Aitken will live out a boyhood dream when he lines up against Aberdeen in today's Scottish Cup semi-final.

Aitken,30, never imagined he would have the chance to play for his team in the Scottish Cup at Hampden. He has always supported the Dumfries side, saying: "I used to live around the corner from Palmerston Park and used to go past there every day on the way to school. To play professional football for any club is an achievement but to play for the club in the town where you were born is a massive thing."

Queen of the South's only selection problem concerns Sean O'Connor who injured his neck a fortnight ago. Jackie McNamara returns for Aberdeen.

Rangers manager Walter Smith will decide today how much to shuffle his side for tomorrow's tie against Partick Thistle following their win over Sporting Lisbon. Smith is likely to make changes to ease the pressure on his players after Thursday's win saw Rangers through to the last four of the Uefa Cup.

David Weir is back in contention after missing Thursday's game through suspension, but Charlie Adam is still sidelined with a knee injury.

Celtic's Scott Brown begins a three-match ban by missing the game against Motherwell tomorrow. He will also miss the Old Firm derby next Wednesday.