MX23RW : Friday, August 6 03:07:11| >> :120:14514:14514:
Dec 20, 2020 at 2.15pm UK at Hampden Park
CelticCeltic
3-3
HeartsHearts
Christie (19'), Edouard (29' pen.), Griffiths (105+1')
Elyounoussi (71'), Ajer (91'), McGregor (107'), Jullien (116')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Boyce (48'), Kingsley (67'), Ginnelly (111')
Gordon (29'), Halliday (33'), Walker (51'), Naismith (62'), Wighton (88'), Smith (105')
Celtic win 4-3 on penalties

Christophe Berra determined to make most of second chance at Hearts

Berra determined to make most of second chance at Hearts
© Reuters
Defender looked to be on his way out.

Christophe Berra is determined to seize his unlikely opportunity to add silverware to his Hearts collection in last season's delayed William Hill Scottish Cup final.

The defender's Hearts career looked over following last year's Boxing Day defeat by Hibernian when new boss Daniel Stendel told his club captain he was surplus to requirements.

Berra went on loan to Dundee and his new team kept five clean sheets in the six games he played before the pandemic forced the suspension of Scottish football.

Hearts joined Dundee in the Scottish Championship following their disputed relegation and Robbie Neilson recalled Berra to his first-team squad after replacing Stendel as manager.

After recovering from a pre-season injury, the 35-year-old has forced his way into the Hearts team for the last four games, just in time for Sunday's Hampden clash with Celtic

Berra said: "It's been a funny old year and there 's no hiding the fact that, if there was no pandemic, I wouldn't be involved. The old manager would be here and I wouldn't be.

"I am very fortunate and I'm glad to be here and hope I get selected for the game."

Berra goes for goal during last year's final
Berra goes for goal during last year's final (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Berra, who was on the bench when Hearts won the trophy in 2006 and played in the 2019 final defeat by Celtic, added: "I've been fortunate enough to be involved in two cup finals and some people will never be involved in any.

"If you go through most leagues throughout the world, it's a handful of teams who are playing in cup finals. When these opportunities come along, you need to grasp it.

"There's less experienced players and younger boys in the squad and they really need to know that, unless you are playing for the top teams, these opportunities sometimes come few and far between.

Berra, top right, was in the Hearts squad in 2006
Berra, top right, was in the Hearts squad in 2006 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

"It's a big occasion and you need to enjoy it."

Like most things these days, the occasion will be highly different to normal with the final squeezed into the final weeks of 2020, just ahead of the traditionally hectic festive league schedule.

Closed-door games remain a strange experience midway into the Scottish season and the setting will be even more unusual for a cup final, but Berra is determined to savour the occasion.

"It can go either way, you could win the cup and it will be a great Christmas," the former Scotland defender said. "If you don't, it could be a bit of a downer.

"I don't know if there's been any cup final, certainly not in Scotland, but anywhere around the world, that's five days before Christmas. It's very unique.

"Everyone will be glued to their televisions, Hearts fans, Celtic fans, fans throughout Scotland and the UK, because it's a big game.

"Even though there won't be a crowd there, which is very disappointing, and that sometimes makes these games, it is a cup final and if you look back in 10 years, 20 years, you are either going to have a winners' medal or a runners-up medal.

"There are little things like going through to Hampden to the press and other duties for media and sponsors, and this year you can't do that, you have to hold back because of the circumstances.

"But we will still be turning up at Hampden, the changing rooms will be decked out, hopefully the pitch will still be in good condition and the stadium is looking good and there's banners about that give it that feel that it is a big occasion.

"It is bitterly disappointing there's no fans there and we understand why, but it is a cup final and you can't take that away from it."

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson pictured on October 31, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina34241674
United StatesUnited States29352791
JapanJapan22101446
AustraliaAustralia1751941
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

BOXING
· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

CYCLING
· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

FOOTBALL
· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers11003033
2Aberdeen11002023
3Hibernian11003213
4Hearts11002113
5Dundee10102201
6St Mirren10102201
7Ross County10100001
8St Johnstone10100001
9Motherwell100123-10
10Celtic100112-10
11Dundee UnitedDundee Utd100102-20
12Livingston100103-30

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