MX23RW : Monday, February 18 13:25:10
Dec 2, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Celtic Park
Attendance: 50,936
Celtic
1-0
Aberdeen
Christie (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)

The major talking points ahead of Betfred Cup final between Celtic and Aberdeen

The major talking points ahead of Betfred Cup final between Celtic and Aberdeen
© Reuters
The game takes place on Sunday.

Celtic face Aberdeen in the Betfred Cup final on Sunday as they attempt to win a seventh consecutive domestic trophy.

Here are the key talking points ahead of the Hampden clash.

Captain comeback

Scott Brown has not started a game since suffering a leg injury against Hibernian on October 20 but the Celtic skipper made his comeback in the final 13 minutes of Thursday's Europa League win over Rosenborg. The 33-year-old will be determined to lead his team to another trophy but manager Brendan Rodgers has an embarrassment of riches in midfield. Callum McGregor has excelled in a deeper role during Brown's absence and Ryan Christie has been a revelation further forward. Scott Sinclair scored the winner in Norway, Tom Rogic has proven to be a key player in big games, James Forrest is in the form of his life and Olivier Ntcham is also pushing for a start.

Devlin gamble

Michael Devlin is a major doubt
Michael Devlin is a major doubt (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Aberdeen centre-back Michael Devlin has only been given an outside chance of making the final after being hit by a foot injury while on Scotland duty. His likely absence would be a major blow as the Dons are already without another two central defenders, Mark Reynolds and Tommie Hoban. Regular left-back Andrew Considine lined up there in last weekend's 3-0 defeat by Motherwell and manager Derek McInnes would have little choice but to field a flat back four if Devlin does not make it.

Keeping the faith

Scott Bain will face Aberdeen
Scott Bain will face Aberdeen (Jane Barlow/PA)

Scott Bain will start in goal for Celtic after playing in the three earlier rounds. The former Alloa and Dundee player, who started his career at Aberdeen, played in some big games last season, notably a 3-2 win at Ibrox and for Scotland in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico. Bain has only conceded one goal in four matches this season and Rodgers has shown his confidence in the 27-year-old by handing him the gloves ahead of Craig Gordon.

Dons goal threat

Gary Mackay-Steven is Aberdeen's top goalscorer
Gary Mackay-Steven is Aberdeen's top goal-scorer (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Aberdeen strikers James Wilson, Stevie May and Sam Cosgrove only have five goals between them this season and such statistics might ensure they start with only one up front. McInnes has preferred a target man against Celtic at Hampden but Cosgrove is relatively inexperienced at the age of 21. The Dons might need to rely on midfielders for inspiration in front of goal, such as semi-final hero Lewis Ferguson and top-scorer Gary Mackay-Steven, who is on six for the season.

Magnificent seven?

Celtic scooped an unprecedented double treble last season and they are looking to extend their record run of domestic trophies by making it seven out of seven under Rodgers. If they do so, then 'triple treble' will enter the Scottish football lexicon.

Share this article now:
Celtic goalkeeper Scott Bain in action during his side's Scottish Premiership clash with Old Firm rivals Rangers on March 11, 2018
Read Next:
Bain thinks Celtic did nothing wrong after Old Firm victory
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
2Liverpool26205159154465
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs26200654252960
4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
5Arsenal26155653371650
6Chelsea26155645291650
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2611693433139
8Watford2610793434037
9Everton2796123639-333
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
11Bournemouth26103133747-1033
12Leicester CityLeicester2695123134-332
13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account