Scottish Cup Final: Hibernian v Celtic match preview
A look ahead to this weekend's Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park
Friday 24 May 2013
Celtic are hoping to secure the first league and cup double of Neil Lennon’s tenure when they take on Hibernian at Hampden Park this weekend. Having won their 44th league title back in April, complacency seems to be the only problem Lennon’s side face when they bid to extend their dominance in Scottish football and win a comprehensive 36th Scottish Cup.
Lennon is free to take his spot in the dugout after being given a suspended touchline ban for entering the playing zone during his side’s defeat to Motherwell.
Hibernian face the formidable task of denying the Hoops glory, but they did beat them earlier in the season at Easter Road, their first win against them in eleven attempts. Hibs haven’t lifted the Cup for over a century and were thrashed 5-1 by fierce rivals Hearts in last season’s final. Pat Fenlon’s side have put together a decent run heading into Sunday’s game, but they face an uphill task to change the record books, which are stacked heavily in the Champions’ favour.
The firepower of striker Gary Hooper should cause Hibs plenty of problems and Joe Ledley is also a threat from the midfield. Meanwhile, Fenlon does have Wolves loanee Leigh Griffiths at his disposal and with 28 goals to his name this season, it comes as no surprise that the club want to keep him for the long-term.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Celtic 3 (Commons 2, Lustig) Hibernian 0, Scottish Premier League, April 2013
Hibernian 1 (Griffiths) Celtic 0, Scottish Premier League, December 2012)
Celtic 2 (Lustig, McPake og) Hibernian 2 (Clancy, Cairney), September 2012
Hibernian head into the final off the back of three straight wins and are unbeaten in six since losing to Celtic in April.
Celtic have scored at least two goals in nine of their last eleven matches against Hibernian.
Both teams needed extra time in their respective semi-finals and finished with the same 4-3 scoreline. Hibernian overcame Falkirk, while Celtic saw off Dundee United.
The two sides have played each other in five Scottish Cup finals, with Celtic winning four of them, most recently in 2001.
Hibernian to win: 9.0
Celtic to win: 1.33
TV: Live on Sky Sports 3 at 3pm, highlights on Sky Sports 1 at 10.45pm
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